Providing insight on a significant topic and putting the spotlight on an important person or VIP – these are just two of the responsibilities of a professional event and MC on-stage presenter. Many of the pros make it look easy, with presentations that are well-organized, concise, and clear.
However, accomplishing these tasks with such finesse can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the industry. Even so, you shouldn’t give up your dream of becoming a pro presenter. Follow these five steps and you’ll find yourself receiving standing ovations in no time:
Step #1: Decide what the audience should focus on
As a presenter, you will be the one to drive the audience’s attention to whatever is most important in the program or event you are hosting. This means that you get to decide whether they should have their attention focused on you or on the slideshow you are providing them.
While they are considered as a traditional visual aid, there will be situations when slides may not be the best option. It is better to determine the purpose of the event before opting for any kind of visuals for your presentation to be effective.
Step #2: Consider the venue and audience
Sometimes, the audience demographics and their seating (or standing) arrangement, as well as the size of the venue itself, can hinder an outstanding presenter from showcasing his or her skills. Because of this, it is imperative that you:
- Visit the event venue;
- Know how many and what type of people are attending;
- Ask where the audience will be watching from; and
- If you’ll be using a single wired mic that is attached to a podium on stage.
By knowing these things, you can prepare ahead for potential hindrances that may impede you from delivering the messages you want and conversing with your audience.
Step #3: Think about how to commence
The beginning of any event holds the most weight in determining if an on stage MC is effective. Since it is the part of the presentation where you will catch the audience’s attention and interest, it is important that you have an explosive start to your presentation.
This means you should begin with something that can pique their interest— a story, a quote, or even a provocative question— so long as you catch their attention and stay true to the topic or theme of the event, then you’re off to a solid start.
Step #4: Converse, don’t present
While professionals who host events are called “presenters,” great ones don’t necessarily just “present” to their audience— they talk to them.
If you want to be one of the greats, remember that conversations have a better retention rate in a person’s consciousness compared to a traditional presentation, which is why many effective speakers give their audiences a chance to ask questions or react. However, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a Q&A portion. Simply add a few points where your audience can feel like actual participants in the program.
Step #5: Get feedback
Every great presenter welcomes feedback, be it from the audience or the program organizer. Some of this information can actually provide you with a good insight as to what you need to improve and how you can become a better presenter.
If you are truly serious about becoming a pro in this industry, you should also consider investing in your skills through coaching. Like other skills, hosting and presenting can be improved through training and workshops. Of course, make sure to get lots of practice even after your coaching is done.
Almost Ready to Take the Stage?
To become an outstanding on stage MC and presenter, it is important that you fully understand the steps you need to take. You also need to gather more insights as well as tips from the pros who have already established their reputation and authority. After you do, you should be ready to take the stage with confidence on how solid your skills are.
Hisham Wyne is an award-winning copywriter, brand consultant and content creator based in Dubai. He has over a decade’s experience in helping brands get their messages right. From crisp web copy and zippy brochures to in-depth company profiles and analytical annual reports, Hisham makes words work for you – so you can sell better, gain visibility, and give your brand a unique voice.