Opinion | How to be a top MC | Jaimie Abbott

Being the MC (master of ceremonies) of an event can be daunting. While some are born to be the proverbial life of the party, others will need adequate preparation.

If you are in the latter category, don’t fret.

Here are a few tips to make sure everything flows smoothly during the event.


As an MC, you might be asked to host different types of events. Make sure your approach fits the occasion. For example, business gatherings will call for a more professional approach. Wedding and birthdays, on the other hand, will need a livelier and fun style. If you will be introducing speakers at the event, do some background checks on them. This will allow you to craft a genuine introduction and avoid sounding generic. Being an MC also calls for you to be fully organised. Memorise the runsheet and draft a quick script too.

Be confident and relaxed

You should capture the audience’s attention from the get-go and set the mood for the event. Stay relaxed, hold the microphone two inches from your mouth, and put forth your most confident and friendly voice. You should also take note of who to thank during your introduction speech: the event planners, production crew, and audience. Tell a quick story in the middle of the speech and make sure it relates to the theme of the event in order to further establish the atmosphere. Remember to keep a humble tone throughout. While being the MC means you take center stage for most of the event, remember to always direct the focus of the audience to the guests, hosts, and speakers.

Stick to the schedule

As MC, you have to ensure the momentum of the event is maintained. There are instances where an award winner might get a little overzealous with their speech. If this happens, it is your job to gently nudge the event back on track. Pay attention to the duration of speeches and be prepared to step in when needed. When transitioning between speakers, a good technique is to do a quick summary of their speech and add a few compliments here and there before moving to the next speaker. This always helps things to flow.

Being the MC can be intimidating. Things can happen beyond your control. But, as MC, it will be your responsibility to hold proceedings together. Practice makes perfect.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. It will be difficult to entertain the crowd if you are not having fun.

Jaimie Abbott is the owner of Jaimie Abbott Communications