Bad Emcees Suck

All emcees—like all speakers—are not created equal. But all Big Meetings should have one or more. Why? Because the talented ones can elevate your event in multiple ways and make it memorable long after the last beer bottle has been passed in the back row.

Dealing with corporate and association audiences is never easy. They're typically sophisticated, jaded, and accustomed to “flash” in the form of high production values. As victims of a career's worth of long meetings, they quickly become bored. To up the energy level, the master of ceremonies has to be energetic, engaging, and entertaining, immediately and consistently. Otherwise, the engagement factor drops and so does the memorability of your event and reasons for being there.

This exact problem has become a sincere passion of mine, as I see, time and again, high-quality and attendee-focused meetings plagued with emcees who provide suckiness in the form of:

  • Talking heads with no energy, emotion, or enthusiasm for what they are doing
  • Uninspiring introductions and transitions from one segment or speaker to the next that lack interest and content
  • Information inadequately delivered or presented at the wrong time
  • Engagement practices that don't relate to the audience or to the overall objectives of the meeting
  • Disengaged audience members who aren't connecting with the reason they are there

I believe the role of the master of ceremonies is not just to be a show coordinator who ensures an on-time event, but one that ...

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