By Lisa Major
1. Be yourself
Marketing people always throw around buzz words like “authentic” and “organic”. I’ve been guilty of saying some agency terms like “proactive” and “hard-stop”. So how do you relate to everyone and still be yourself? That’s a tough one for sure. You should be able to draw from different experiences, people you know and passions to get this done. Don’t try too hard. After all, you’re the guy or gal with the mic and it gives you instant credibility.
If you’d rather not be yourself, check out 2017’s Marketing Buzz Word Predictions here. http://www.morriscreative.com/marketing-buzzword-predictions-for-2017/
2. Have your Wheaties and Sleepies
It’s hard to say no, but as the Master of Mics, you have to get your beauty sleep. If you’re flat, then your whole event is going to have a low key vibe. I mean, if you’re the event emcee at a PGA Tour golf stop, you might not be required to be super energetic. But there’s no doubt that you’ll do a better job if you aren’t hating yourself for staying out past your bedtime the night before. And hey, your fellow crew might appreciate it too. Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated! From personal experience, you might want to stay away from a place that rhymes with Sight Bastle when it’s 110 degrees in Alabama.
3. Get on their level
Sometimes you might feel like a babysitter out there. But let’s face it, there’s a ton of kid friendly brands and events and they are an absolute blast to host. Move around and get down on the same level with the kids. Parents and kids alike will remember when that Emcee of Brand X called them out, or gave them an impromptu interview or that elusive FREE T-SHIRT. OMG! Don’t forget about the social media implications.
4. Don’t be afraid to be silly
Even if you’re an auto show emcee, don’t be afraid to turn down the seriousness. You’ll instantly be more relatable and likeable. You’re not a robot and you’re as funny as you are attractive, gosh darn it.
5 – Slow down, but move around If you speak fast on a mic, understand that most people aren’t going to pick up what you’re putting down. Your messaging will become muffled and difficult to understand. Just because you’re on month 10 of a nationwide tour and know your footprint and activation elements frontward and back, doesn’t mean the lovely folks of Seattle, WA do. And move around. Motion creates emotion. Get close to what you’re talking about or get out from your footprint. Have some fun with it and even get in another brands footprint (as long as there’s not a conflict).
6 – Use technology to improve
Don’t feel bad asking for someone on your team to video your event emcee skills. It’s a really great way to check out how you’re doing. It’s likely that you’ll be your own worst critic, so give yourself some feedback, and try to set some goals on what to improve upon next time out.
7 – Get a mentor
Do you look up to another emcee out there? Maybe you’ve seen a great one at another event in the past? With as little creepy factor as you can, watch them from a distance. Reach out to them, see if you can network and ask questions. I always looked up to Automotive Professional Emcee Richard – Dodge’s Emcee and more recently Michael T “The Voice”.
8 – Get social
Get your own social media pages for your event emcee demo reel, photos and anything else relating to your work or the industry overall. This will help you get more work and thus, you’re bound to improve.
9 – Challenge yourself
Try not to get stuck in the same role or type of event. If you’re really good at being an Auto Show Presenter, try on a kids toy brand or CPG client on for size. Just because you have steady work with a few agencies, doesn’t mean you can’t know more – hey, like ATN Event Staffing for instance. I bet you didn’t know that we staff hundreds of emcees for events around the country every year.
10 – Do your homework and practice
You’d be surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) about how little advance homework some people are willing to do. But you’re different. You’re a pro. You take pride in your work and do your preparation on the brand pre event. You go online and watch videos and read up on their latest products or services. Gosh you’re good! And hey, don’t be afraid to practice at home. Your messaging will flow much easier if your brain and mouth have collaborated a bit on it first.
11 – Share, but not too much
Go ahead, share some information about you too. But be careful to not overshare with the smiling event patrons of Rochester, New York’s air show.
12 – Get others involved
This is an easy one to forget. Even if you don’t have a contest or activation element specifically involving consumers, you can and should get others involved. Shout out to Emcee Rico and his fun dance contests he does out there. People love it and the action draws even more of a crowd.
13 – Pump the town you’re in, their teams, their anything
For the most part, people love their city. Or they love something about it, or potentially loathe it, but are die-hard Cubs fans (especially now). They will think it’s cool that you took time to see their special landmark, watering hole or saw a AA Mudhen baseball game. Special shout out to Andrew Adams – Former Playstation Client who taught me that one.
Bonus Tip: Take an improv class
There’s nothing worse than a scripted and robotic mic delivery. Take an improvisational speaking class and get out of your own way. It will be the best investment in your event emcee career – I just about guarantee it.