Building Your Event Team Part I: The MC

What makes a great MC? What skills should an MC have? How will your choice of MC impact guest experience and the level of giving in the room? These are critical questions your event staff or committee should ask in the early planning stages of your signature event.

The MC sets the tone at the event. A skilled, professional Host makes guests feel warm, welcomed and relaxed. When the live program begins, the MC is the first point of contact. When the MC wraps up the program, they provide the last imprint on the room. These interactions affect guest’s impressions of your event and organization and may even affect giving on event night.

We’ve all seen it: The show is running overtime and too many speeches went on too long. One of the key roles of the MC is to ensure the program stays on schedule and the flow is smooth. That means staying on top of the agenda, minute by minute, and reacting and redirecting as needed to maintain maximum audience engagement.

Master of Crowd Control.

There is nothing more disheartening than an audience chatting amongst themselves, offering little or no attention while the Board Chair delivers a heart-felt speech highlighting the impact the organization has on the community. A skilled MC, that is invested in your show and event outcome, will set your Board Member up for success by using professional techniques that quiet the room and bring attention to the stage. When this is the case, you will never hear that uncomfortable “ssshhhh-ing” from the floor!

Professional MCs are highly skilled public speakers, who consider their diction, cadence and inflections to mirror the tone of your event and reflect your guests. They create a connection and emotional relationship with your audience. They are a “Brand Ambassador” who skillfully leverages their role to inspire guests to give generously to your vital cause.

Selecting a professional MC for your event should be a careful process. Consider the fit and match of the individual to your cause and event goals. Most importantly: consider the long-term impact your event has on your guests. Who would you want to be that advocate on such an impactful evening?