Earlier, we posted tips for prospective masters of ceremonies, especially for those who are particular about weddings by Joyce Daniel, a professional compere, founder and CEO of Talkademy Training and finishing school (click here if you missed it).
Here is another expose’ from our #LearnFromTheMasters series by another superb microphone handler, Raphael Edem. For him, there is no manual on being a good event / wedding MC. Even if there were, it would most likely not apply to Nigerian weddings with all the spontaneity and razzmatazz involved. “However, these few tips are based on my over 15 years’ experience in the microphone business. I mceed my first wedding in 2002, in my village church. Today, almost 400 weddings after, and countless other events, I should know a thing or two about the do’s and don’ts of the business. I hope these tips come in handy, especially for up and coming MC’s”, he adds.
- Prepare: Nothing beats proper preparation. Do some research on your clients, possibly their background. You just may find out something that will help your work. At worst, it will help get you in the proper frame of mind for the event. If it’s an unfamiliar venue that will be used, checking it out beforehand is a useful tactic.
- Dress Well, and dress properly. Some things aren’t wrong but aren’t proper. For instance, wearing football boots to church. It’s footwear, yes! But it’s inappropriate footwear. My rule of thumb is to ensure nothing about your dressing takes attention from your work. When you dress properly, it boosts your confidence and you can concentrate on the job at hand rather than bothering about what the bride’s mum thinks about your distressed designer jeans. You are a master of ceremonies, not a Kanye West!
- Avoid Surprises: Surprises are the event manager’s nightmare. This also holds true for an MC. Discuss all aspects of the programme with your clients beforehand. Don’t allow anyone else to spring something on you as this may throw you off if you weren’t mentally prepared for it. Be firm but courteous. However, never rule out unforeseen circumstances. Prepare for it and calmly work around it to ensure it doesn’t ruin the event.
- As an MC, nothing puts me off like a bad microphone, or speakers. It can, no! It WILL ruin your event. Many clients want to go for cheap services and many others don’t know the difference between good and bad sound. Let them know the importance of proper sound, and at least 2 microphones as sharing microphones can affect spontaneity.
- Arrive on time: Punctuality is the soul of business. Arriving on time helps you take in the ambience, the sitting arrangement, the service pattern, and generally gets you relaxed and prepared for the event. You don’t want to rush in huffing and puffing with the guest wondering where you sprang from. One way of ensuring this is to avoid taking the order of photographs after the church service, if you can. In my opinion, this is not even an MC’s job!
- Jokes: The point needs to be made that MC’s are neither jesters nor comedians. Your job is to get the event to go properly and in time, to get your clients to relax and the guests to enjoy the event. Jokes are a welcome but not a necessary addition to the event. If you must tell a joke, ensure it will go down well with the audience. The rule of thumb here is, when in doubt, don’t!
- Be courteous, be civil, be respectful. In speech, in temperament, in delivery.
- Keep it simple. Limit experimentation. Don’t drag an event for too long. Don’t be on over elaborate. There’s no excuse for a wedding reception lasting longer than 2 hours. Maybe 30 minutes extra is tolerable. Anything longer than that is a criminal offence. Use your head, don’t lose your head!
- Consult and confer with the chairman of the event. There is only one reason for this – HE IS THE CHAIRMAN!