A master of ceremonies (MC) is the official host of a wedding, annual general meeting, end of year office party, fundraiser, state function, thanksgiving ceremony or any other staged event. He or she sets the tone of the event and goes a long way in ensuring the audience stays engaged throughout. If you are a lively person with a charismatic personality, this is a job you could enjoy.
See Also: How to Become a TV Presenter in the US
1. What Does a Master of Ceremonies Do?
Although the specific duties of an MC could vary depending on the nature of an event, their duties typically include:
- Taking part in the planning of the event – This may involve rehearsing a choreographed ceremony opening
- Welcoming the audience/attendees to the event
- Identifying the organizers and sponsors of the event
- Recognizing the chief guests
- Answering questions from the audience
- Introducing performing artists and other acts to the stage
- Inviting guests to give their speeches
- Giving a vote of thanks at the tail end of the event
2. Work Environment
MCs have irregular work schedules. A workday usually depends on the time of an event. For example, they can emcee a fundraiser in the morning, and then proceed to do the same at an awards gala that could be running from 8pm till midnight.
The job of an MC comes with extensive travelling. Standing for long periods of time is also a typical aspect of the profession.
The annual average salary for is $43,000, according to Simply Hired.
4. Entry Requirements
There are no specific educational requirements for becoming an MC. Employers are more interested in your emceeing ability and personality than academic credentials. Are you humorous? Can you engage the audience?
If you want to be an MC, it is important to begin emceeing at a young age. If you are in high school or college, take the opportunity to host student events. This will build your self-confidence, grow your stage presence and help you master the art of public speaking.
Colleges and universities don’t (as yet) offer any specific training for aspiring masters of ceremonies. The best you can do is attend training workshops organized by event management companies and commercial MC academies.
When you feel ready to start hunting for gigs, be sure to compile a portfolio detailing clips of the events you have previously emceed. This is what prospective clients will use to judge your ability.
5. Important Qualities
The skills that are a must-have:
- Clear speaking skills
- Strong people skills
- Good marketing skill
- Sense of humor (ability to crack a joke or two)
- Good planning and organizational skills
- Good timekeeping skills
- The ability to think on your feet
- State confidence
- Good presentation skills
- Good computer skills
- Good multitasking skills
- Creativity and flexibility
- Good networking skills
6. Career Advancement
How do you become a sought-after MC? Simple. By giving the best in the events your emcee. The audience or attendees are potential ambassadors of your brand. If you keep them entertained, chances are they will refer your services to friends who are planning to hold events.
You can also pursue a bachelor’s degree in communications. Particularly, the program will enhance your cultural and social perceptiveness: that is, you will learn how to appropriately communicate to multi-cultural audiences.
Some of the top universities offering this degree include:
7. Job Opportunities
Although many MCs work on a freelance basis, fulltime employment opportunities are available in:
- Large event management companies
- Some colleges and universities
With vast emceeing experience and a solid reputation, several clients will come looking for your services. With good business skills, you can establish a company that provides emceeing services to cash in on your increasing demand.
Competition for gigs in the emceeing industry is quite fierce. Besides your skills, it is important to network with event planners and other professionals who can help you get regular work. Luckily though it is a profession you can practice alongside others like acting and TV presenting.
So if you love attending events and wonder what it takes to be the MC, no doubt the career path is now well-illuminated.