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Master of Ceremonies

Open and close award shows, introduce speakers, or lead events.

What does a Master of Ceremonies do?

Although it’s not necessary at small parties — your friends would probably laugh at you if you tried to “announce” the goings-on at your next get-together — large events need to be narrated for the attendees so that they stay informed and engaged. A Master of Ceremonies is the narrator.

As a Master of Ceremonies, also known as an MC or Emcee, you’re hired to be the Announcer at events and functions, including awards shows, conferences, banquets, fundraisers, galas, and wedding receptions. Being the Master of Ceremonies is like being a Disc Jockey, but without the music.

Although you’re often a Professional Speaker, you might also be affiliated with the Event Organizer as an executive, employee, customer, or vendor. Either way — hired professional or lucky volunteer — your duties are the same: You’re a Tour Guide for the event, keeping the program moving by queuing and introducing speakers, special guests, entertainment, and other event participants.

Often, you’ll be asked to give a speech that opens the event, introducing it and commencing it. After that, though, your remarks are typically brief and to the point, intended to help the program transition from one segment to the next.

Far more important than what you do is who you are: You’ve got to be warm, engaging, funny, and articulate, able to pronounce words correctly, deliver punch lines with correct timing, and think on your feet in the event of an unplanned circumstance that requires you to react or stall.

While it probably won’t be broadcast to millions of homes, your event is a lot like the Academy Awards — and you’re this year’s Host!