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The Microphone of an Event Emcee

Sometimes you get to choose what type of microphone you use. If a company hires you to emcee they often want you to be comfortable with the equipment you’re using.

Usually a cordless mic is what you are offered. A wired mic is generally not practical although they are more reliable. Make sure if it’s a cordless mic the batteries are fresh and there’s a reserve pair ready. Especially if the event you are hosting is long, you are likely to burn through a pair of batteries.

Some companies will wire you up with a lav mic. These leave your hands free but can be cumbersome due to the battery pack attached to you at all times.

If there’s a podium, either on the stage or off to the side, sometimes a mic is attached to it. This is a convenient option when you are hosting as you are possibly getting up and down frequently. Usually they can place a cordless mic in the stand on the podium and you can take it with you if you need. Speaking on your way to the podium is sometimes necessary during an event. You often have to quickly approach the podium. Dead air is not your friend when you are an emcee.

There are different kinds of microphones which can be quite technical. Some say the Shure SM58 for example. But really you just need a good sound system, that can handle a lot of volume, and will handle the bass in your voice. Microphones that has sound “tinny” are generally harsh sounding and make for a long evening.

Being the host or emcee, your voice is ideally pleasant, but a good sound system is imperative to augment that.

Shoes: Surprisingly Complicated

Men’s fashion has gotten so lenient. Even if you’re supposed to be well dressed can get away with casual shoes. You want something comfortable – you may be on your feet most of the day or evening. Nowadays I see men wearing tennis shoes, even ones that are not traditional colors. It’s up to you to decide if that goes with the rest of your outfit.

There are many dress shoes that claim to have advanced orthotics, although I haven’t found them to be particularly comfortable. If you have high arches, dress shoes may be particularly harsh on your feet.

A master of ceremonies may be on a stage, and that means people have a good sightline to your feet. They will see your shoes. It can get quite technical about what is considered a fashionable shoe. I’ve read that square toed shoes are out, and that a man should never wear them, no matter the brand. I say wear whatever looks good for you, for the event, and for your outfit.

You also have to dress for your persona and that may influence what type of shoes you wear. You see TV personalities all the time wearing tennis shoes, although with fame comes a certain amount of flexibility with what you can wear, and what your brand is.

Ultimately you need to deliver, and to perform well. If you exceed there, no one will probably remember what type of shoes you wore, square toed or not. Being an emcee is mostly about your persona, content, and originality.

Script Font

This is an another area of being a host, or emcee that can get very idiosyncratic. Some hosts want a script delivered in a specific format, and with an exact font. If you have reading glasses you may constantly be fiddling for those, and that can slow you down when you need to be speak immediately when you get the podium or stage.

As a event host you may have to read something very fast, or glance at your notes very quickly and the font can make all the difference in the world. If the lighting is poor near where your script is that’s an entirely separate issue. Part of what the company has hired an event MC for, is someone who can make any situation work.

There may be times when you can’t read the script at all, and you have to again, improvise. Or maybe memorize whatever section is next, right before your hosting duties bring you back on stage.

Often the right font is around size 14. At times people may print your MC script at 18, and that may work for you. The disadvantage is you may have more pages now and be constantly flipping pages while at the podium. Having something cumbersome is not always a good thing when efficiency is paramount.

Writing Jokes as an Event Emcee

Jokes as an event emcee can be a tightrope act. When you’re a host you are not the featured event of the evening, you are an important adjunct. Jokes can be written about the guests of honor, or other attendees, but usually with some careful research. You don’t have the freedom you have in a nightclub or comedy club. A buttoned-up atmosphere requires a very special type of writing, one that’s sharp and incisive but tasteful.

Asking the right questions to whomever is in charge can help give you fodder for the right joke premises, but you often get incomplete information and as the emcee you have to fill in the blanks or create humor out of the scant information given to you.

Sometimes the people giving you the inside information don’t give you items that are right for the tone of the evening. It’s up to an experienced master of ceremonies to know what premises for jokes to skip entirely and which ones to extract good jokes out of. That process can take weeks depending on how much time they want to the MC to fill. Jokes create a memorable experience and can make a long, tedious corporate event move much quicker for the audience.

Sometimes your hosting something happening at twelve noon, or one in the afternoon. Even that can completely alter the vibe of the humor you’re creating and delivering. It takes an experienced comedian/host to be able to execute that.

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