March 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts March 2003 Current Issue
August 2002

ABCs of Emceeing

A good master of ceremonies keeps events moving along seamlessly. Toastmasters International (, based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., offers the following advice on what to expect from an effective emcee.

EARLY RESEARCH. Prior to the event, emcees should contact speakers to find out their titles, presentation topics and how much time they need. This also will help the emcee piece together memorable introductions.

A GRAND OPENING. The emcee’s initial welcome serves several functions. It should remind the audience of the event’s overall purpose, give a brief outline of the program and acknowledge the presence of any special guests.

GOOD TIMING. When speakers exceed their time limits, the master of ceremonies should slip them a note politely asking them to wrap up.

SMART SEGUES. Good emcees provide smooth transitions between speakers by sharing relevant anecdotes or comments about the event.

FOND FAREWELLS. Closing remarks should relate back to the introduction and include thanks to program participants.


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