Tabi basa & greetings everyone. For many, I am known as a photographer – Tukang Rantek, as I would label it. But I also am passionate in emceeing events. Therefore, today, I’d like to share about emcee, which is a phonetic spelling of the acronym of M.C – Master of Ceremony.
ROLES OF AN EMCEE
Let’s talk about the fundamental. Emcee’s role is quite straightforward – they ensures the smooth program flow of an event. They actually set the tone of the entire event.
Just imagine an event without an emcee. People would be wondering on what is happening next. When will the bride & groom marches in, when they should start eating and when everything should ends? Sounds terrible, right?
That’s why, every event should have an emcee, because they will put things together and make sure that it runs smoothly.
What’s more worse than that is an incompetent emcee, full of dead air. That’s truly awkward. Latching to my earlier point, an emcee will set the tone for the event. Whether that event is a night to be remembered or it’s an event that bores you to sleep, the power is in an emcees hand / or his/her microphone.
CAN ANYONE BE AN EMCEE?
The thing is, you can’t just simply pluck random Tom, Dick & Harry from the streets and ask him to be the emcee. That will only spell disaster.
The person that you choose to be an emcee needs to have a set of required competencies.
FUNDAMENTALS OF AN EMCEE
First and foremost, an emcee should be trained to handle such pressure, especially stage fright. It is one of the most well-known phobia. Even though there are rostrums at a lower stage, one’s shyness or stage-fright can be heard in their voice.
Secondly, he/she needs to have a good communication skill, be able to read the audience & hold their focus. Depending on the crowd, different location has a different definition of “fun” or “happening” event. In an Iban / Bidayuh wedding, you know that they love to drink, dance & be merry, so need to incorporate that in. Otherwise, if you use formal style event, it would be awkward. The emcee should also captivate the audiences, lest they’ll be bored.
Thirdly, he/she needs to be familiar with the event. Otherwise, further homework has to be done prior to the event. Not only the names of the VIPs, an emcee needs to be well-versed with the whole “adat” (custom) so that he/she knows that is coming and how he can elaborate to the other audiences, especially when there is a lot of visiting guests. They would be interested to know what’s going on. Instead of just letting the event flow, a good emcee will help to explain in commonly-understood language such as English or Malay so that these guests feel welcomed.
PREPARATION BEFORE THE EVENT:
Firstly, a good emcee will meet with the event organiser, or in most cases, make an appointment with bride & groom before the event itself. During this discussion, the emcee will be able to get to know the event, expectation from both sides, whether it is formal or casual event.
This is important as it will determine how you as an emcee will steer the event in the direction that both side agrees.
Otherwise, simple whatsapp conversation would suffice as long as key information & event goal is communicated clearly.
Secondly, research about the event. This includes finding our more about customs (if not familiar) and the key personnel involved with that event. You don’t want to mistake the VIPs for someone else, or bride/groom with another person.
Thirdly, make time to join the rehearsal. This is important to know what’s the main hiccup of the event, where things can be optimised. This is an essential part, especially when you are doing major event.
Otherwise, if it is just a simple event and the client is an adventurous type, you can skip this part.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS AN EMCEE
Here also I’d like to take an opportunity to share about my past experiences as an emcee, where I’ve been emceeing events – both corporate/company events & wedding events since 2015.
Being able to communicate fluently in English, Malay, Bidayuh & Iban really helps me to create an engaging event with various crowds.
I also usually took the opportunity to serenade the guests with usual choices of songs, including Wonderful Tonight & Can’t Help Falling In Love to set the tone; with more lively songs such as Biar Bekikis Bulu Betis & Kampung Love at the later stage of the event.
As an emcee, it is my duty to make the event a night to be remembered for everyone.
That’s all for now. Stay safe & take care.