literary_equine (literary_equine) wrote,

Introducing Others - Being Introduced

Introducing Others -

I love being the Master of Ceremonies, many times more even than being the speaker. The MC's job is to keep the evening program flowing smoothly and instill a sense of excitement in the people you are introducing, to "psych" them up for the speaker.

My skill comes from years of experience and watching other MC's and how they do it. My years of being a radio DJ have gifted me with a good, strong voice, the ability to think on my feet, be ready with a quick and witty (but never insulting) quip, be self-deprecating when a mistake occurs, and make sure the program fits within the time schedule.

When introducing the speakers or singers or whatever, and especially the main speaker, you have to get the people excited. You highlight the speaker's past triumphs, how glad you are that they have come to speak (or perform) for the crowd, how they have entertained/edified/educated people in the past and you don't do it in a bored monotone as if you were reading off a grocery list.

Not only do you want the people excited to be there, a good speaker will live up to his/her introduction. Make it a good one.

And if you ever start off your introduction by saying, "This person needs no introduction," may all the ghosts of MC's past arise and drag you off to an early grave.

Being Introduced -

If the MC does not approach you about how you want to be introduced, hunt them down and say, "Here are the major events in my life that may help you with my introduction." Include your schools, the names of the major places where you have lived, acknowledge your wife and kids if you have any, and any recent information that deals with the topic you are addressing or related to the entertainment.

When you come on stage, do not insult the MC with a fake display of humility ("I'm just a normal guy") (1), or correcting him on a mistake he made in your intro unless the error deals directly with the subject on hand. (2) In fact, unless you're Don Rickles, don't insult anybody.

You come on stage, say "Thank you for such a warm welcome" and then live up to the introduction. That's your job.

Now if you're introduced by an MC that has done a terrible job or acted like somebody who was fighting dysentery after eating unripe lemons, you will have to basically reintroduce yourself in a powerful, enthusiastic manner. Then (and trust me, this works) get the audience to applaud for somebody who came before you or for those who put the event together. Even though they are not applauding for you, it gets them in the proper mindset.

(1) The only time I saw such an intro work was when I saw the MC give an awesome, tremendous, and rousing intro. The speaker, visibly stunned, simply said, "Wow. I can hardly wait to hear myself speak!" Complimenting the MC in a witty manner is always a good technique, but don't down yourself. By your opening comments you are not being paid to make the people regret they came to hear you.

(2) I once introduced a man whose wife's name was spelt "Joan" on the introduction paper, but unkown to me was pronounced "Jo-Anne." After making the error, he shamed me publicly for the mistake in a very derogatory manner. Not cool for me, definitely not cool for him. All he had to do was use his wife's name correctly in the presentation pretending my error never occurred. One of the major rules is you cover up everybody's backside while they cover up yours because the presentation is more important than your own ego.

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