I had a great way to kick-start the Sweet twenty-Sixteen by attending a sacred wedding ceremony and hosting a blissful nuptial dinner reception just two days ago. It was my first time to work as a master of ceremonies for a wedding reception and not to mention, it was my cousin brother’s wedding. I couldn’t imagine if I screwed it up. So I didn’t. I figured that by focusing on doing the right thing at the right time, I save myself all the trouble to worry in vain. Of all the functions that I have hosted, I must say that I improved a lot. Mostly because I kept myself together and shook off all the fear inside of me and those voices that said, “You can’t do this. You suck hard. You are the worst. You can’t make jokes. You are certainly not going to entertain your audience, etc.” If I were to listen to them, I would not have done it. I would not even say yes in the first place. I remember someone wise once encouraged us to say yes then figure out how to do something and that was what I did.
As usual, after hosting each event, I learned something from it.
It’s not what you’re going to say that matters, it’s how you’re going to say it
Don’t read that as an adage or a cliché. It’s the truth. And the truth will set you free. After putting together my emcee speech, I felt that it was so lengthy and mouthful. I used a lot of bombastic terms; some very unnatural sentence structures because I was writing it and we all know that speaking and writing are two different sets of skills. When I was rehearsing it, I didn’t like it at all. So I edited this and that, shorten it, adorned it and whatnot. As an emcee, you will understand that during an event, you will only have two types of audience, A and B. A represents those who will pay attention to you and B who won’t. Having said that, what really draws people’s attention is not the content. This isn’t a debate competition. While hosting an event, your content of the speech is probably not even secondary; perhaps the way you dress up comes before what you have to say. I learned that nobody gives a damn about what I said. Even those who paid attention to me didn’t bother if I forgot to use the past participle in that particular sentence. Delivery tops content. Remember that. Use your charismatic voice and deliver powerfully and confidently.
Be super observant and flexible
Important things like having the program flow easily accessible, pens and papers around just in case you need to add something to your cue cards, a walkie-talkie or someone nearby who can assist you with the personnel, and so on should be needless to mention but you as an emcee, should possess the trait of being keen in observing the surrounding, scanning the hall, being attentive to people, to details and to the entire event. On top of that, you need to be flexible, make changes as you go. Especially while you are standing on the stage, look at your audience, look around what’s happening, don’t follow your script entirely. I know this because in my script I actually inserted a line to ask the crowd to rise at some point of the event but during the actual time, the crowd had already stood up so there was really no point saying that again. Sometimes you can’t rely on waiting for the other party to give you signal, at times, you really have to step up, take control, go slightly not according to the plan when unexpected things occurred and save the day.
If you are not great at jokes, just forget about them
Believe me, I have not said a single joke at that wedding and yet I have received approbation by many nice strangers. You see, in my experience, I know that I ain’t a comedian. I can’t amuse people with the jokes I think are funny. I tried but I failed. Don’t give me the try and try again, don’t quit, no, some people are just not gifted with the talent of telling jokes, I am one of them and I accept it with all my heart. So I did not attempt. I quit while I was ahead. I focused on doing the right stuffs, the stuffs I know. And when you do that, you will learn that you can entertain the crowd with many other ways than what jokes can offer. It’s okay not to joke, not to tell funny lines. It’s okay to not be hilarious. You are beautiful in your own way. Know what makes you stand out and really tune in to that! Besides, when you are asked to be an emcee, you are not paid to be a stand-up comedian, don’t try so hard to make people laugh. It’ll backfire in no time. Instead, do your thing and divert the focus to the ones who should be the focus, the BRIDE and the GROOM, for Pete’s sake!
So that basically summed up what I’ve added to my learning journal and hope you will have a great start yourself with 2016! Peace!