Here, our resident Innovation expert & media personality James O'Loghlin is going to outline exactly what you can expect from a good MC & why the quality of the compering can make or break an event!
And to really drive his point home, this holiday season James has created a very special offer. For any client that confirms a booking for James to MC their event before 31st January 2014, he will also include a complimentary Innovation keynote or panel facilitation (RRP $7500).
During my career as a professional speaker & MC I have spoken to hundreds of different audiences at countless events. And as I continue to travel the country speaking, it becomes more and more apparent...
A good MC is the difference between an OK event, and a great event!
The MC is the event's glue, if the MC is bad, or even just ok, people will mark the whole event down. If they love the MC, they will mark the whole event up.
'It was the best decision we all made – a professional MC took our event to a new level'
I include this quote from a client not just because I am egotistical, but also because it illustrates this point. The client didn't just say I was a good MC. They said having a good MC took the whole event 'to a new level'.
So let's look at the particular ways an MC can add value:
If the audience are engaged at the start, it makes everything that follows much easier.
By standing up at the start of the event and being entertaining, witty and interesting, a good MC immediately sends a strong message to the audience that the whole event is going to be entertaining.
Conversely, if the audience aren't immediately engaged, it makes everything that follows harder.
A good MC will make sure that they introduce every speaker in a way that makes the audience lean forward, not back, as the speaker takes the stage.
They will find something about each speaker that connects to those in the audience, so that the speaker arrives on stage with people eager to hear what they have to say.
- When things go wrong, they will handle it lightly and with humour.
- When the audience need a laugh, a good MC will provide it.
- When it's time to get serious and think about something important, a good MC will guide the audience to do this.
- A good MC will pull the event together, tease out themes, connect the different parts and invite the audience to reflect on what they have learned.
An experienced MC won't take 5 minutes to laboriously run through a list of administrative details about toilets, lanyards and lunch breaks. They will do it in the least possible words, and throw in a few jokes along the way.
A good MC can do more than be an MC
A good MC can add value by running a panel discussion, facilitating Q and A's with speakers, interviewing audience members, doing a comedy spot or presenting a keynote.
This gives added depth to the event and creates additional dimensions that perhaps the organiser wasn't even aware was possible.
The MC is on the stage more times than anyone else, and comes to be seen by the audience as the personification of the event.
If audience members are looking forward to the MC coming back on stage each time because they know will get a laugh or a relevant comment, it creates a good feeling that will run through the event.
In summary, a good MC can engage the audience, energise the audience, tie the event together, give the audience some laughs, and get them leaving the event saying 'that was great!' rather than 'well, we survived'.
For further information on James O'Loghlin, or to enquire about booking James for your next conference or event please contact the friendly ODE team on 02 9818 5199 or email