It was so awesome to have an MC of Greg Ward’s quality delivering this mornings webinar. Well done to PSANZ having the format where participants can be seen via video, and have written or verbal input all from the comfort of our own homes!!
Absolutely loved it – well done PSANZ (and thanks so much to Greg for his time and expertise!!)

Glen Sharkey

We had the privilege of having Greg Ward share his incredible knowledge and experience at this months PSANZ Speaker Café on November 9th. Greg reminded us that an MC can determine the success or failure of an event and He/She wears multiple hats throughout the occasion from fire-fighter to entertainer. Here are Gregs top 10 tips for making your next MC event a success:

  1. Planning Stage Involvement. If it is possible, get involved at the beginning stages of an event. The MC can have valuable input into creating the program and planning travel time between conference rooms. For example, if there are multiple floors at an event, it will take extra time for people to move between venues. And ensure networking time is built into the program. Get an idea of the tone, feel and culture of the event. Research the company.
  2. Timing. Events are run on a tight schedule so it’s important to help speakers keep time. This could mean using timer apps for speakers, that they can clearly see. It is recommended to have one on a podium and another on the stage floor. Sponsors are also another consideration. If they have paid for a 30min tea break and the event only does 20minute tea break, that can lead to problems. It’s useful to talk to speakers before hand to remind them of how you will manage
    time and signal to them. If speakers are doing a 45min slot, then 37.5 is really what they will be talking for. Also, be aware of how long it takes to move from room to room at a conference. Use an App on an older iPhone or iPad called “Present Time”
  3. Fillers. Another element to consider is filling in time if a speaker is late or finishes their speech early. It is useful to have filler pieces or facilitator style questions.
  4. Allies: When you arrive at the event, be sure to network and meet people to create allies. When you are on stage later on, you can always call on these when doing crowd work.
  5. Acting vs being. It can be easy to put on a façade but people will see through incongruence and you may lose status.
  6. Eye contact: Rather than reading notes, make eye contact with audience. Ensure every quadrant of the room gets eye contact.
  7. Speaker Introductions: The MC should remember that he/she is not the star of the show. By making others look good, you look good. A speaker introduction should include: Who you are, Why you are here, Why you are here now. If a speaker has given you a written introduction, make sure you read this word for word.
  8. Tech issues: Get to know the technical people. If you have a filler piece, have it on USB stick.
  9. MC Table. This can act as your office also. If you are at a 3 day event, it may give space for you to catch up on emails.
  10. Systemize Business. Use a CRM software such as Pipedrive to manage leads.

Written by Margo Regan