Blog 1Emcee or MC . . .  However you choose to spell it isn’t the important part.

If you are a professional speaker, and you want to grow your business and income, you cannot underestimate the role of the person who introduces you. Your ideal situation is a great MC introducing you, and your work in a way that people are sold on your awesomeness before you even open your mouth.

But we’ve all been to events where there is:

  1. No MC
  2. A very average MC or
  3. A great speaker who messes up your introduction fabulously!

The role of the MC is actually a lot more important than most people would assume. Yet we often overlook it. So use these simple steps to put together an awesome introduction to you and your work that you can hand to the MC so they say all the right things.

(Of course you can apply the following steps if YOU are the MC and you’re working with speakers who haven’t given you a great introduction too!

First: Understand The Purpose of Introductions

There are three main reasons to introduce to be introduced correctly correctly.

  1. To grab hold of the audience’s attention (let’s face it, people are normally chatting with their buddies and sipping coffee).
  2. To bring together a diverse group of people for a singular intention for the duration of the presentation. Often the people in a seminar room come from diverse backgrounds, and have different purposes and reasons for being there. It makes your job easier if the person doing the introduction can pull the audience together to be present and focused.
  3. To entice the audience to pay attention to the relevant content for the entire presentation. The last thing you want is people checking emails or nipping ut for a quick phone call.
  4. To build up your credibility. A successful MC will have the audience wanting to work with/buy from/ book you, even before you’ve stepped onstage. When done right it minimises your need to “toot your own horn”. And let’s face it. When you say something about yourself that’s one thing, but a third party endorsement is everything!

Therefore, when crafting your introduction make sure that it has ALL these elements in place

Second: Write the introduction for your MC

I tend to have a half page introduction written out long hand so that if necessary the MC can read it our verbatim and introduce me EXACTLY how I want to be introduced. It’s great if they make it personal and heartfelt if they know you too. But give them the script and it makes everyone’s life easier.

Here is my example, and then we can create yours:
(please note I speak on two topics: the business of speaking, and women and leadership. I have different introductions for each obviously, as should you for each topic you present.)

MC Introduction for Dr Joanna Martin

(If you haven’t introduced yourself do this first please. “Welcome everyone, I’m ________ and I’m really excited to be your MC for this evening.”)

 Our speaker for today is no stranger to the speaking business. She’s been a professional speaker for 10 years and took her own business from zero to seven figures and two countries in 12 months. She did all this while maintaining an enviable lifestyle.

Who would like to get results like that in their business? (ask for hands up)

Well, you’re in the right place.

  • Dr Joanna Martin has spoken to over 60,000 people on three different continents
  • Her corporate clients have included big Australian companies such as ANZ Bank and Fairfax publishing, as well as global organisations like EBay
  • She has shared her speaking success secrets with over 23,000 business owners all over the world.
  • Indeed her students and clients include successful speakers such as: (choose 3 you think your audience would know)
    • Daryl Grant
    • Ben Angel
    • Peter Thomson
    • John Lee
    • Paul Avins
    • Caroline Marsh
    • Simon Coulson
    • Simon Zutshi
    • Shaa Wasmund
  • and numerous publicly recognised clients who prefer to keep their work with Joanna confidential.

Today Joanna is going to focus on the business of speaking. Indeed one of her students made over 2 million dollars in a single weekend using the strategies she’s going to share with you today.

So… listen very carefully as Joanna takes you through how to add 100, 1000 or even 10,000 pounds to your income each month using the skill of public speaking.

Please stand up (indicate and wait for people to stand) and give a HUGE round of applause, for Dr Joanna Martin

Now you have a model lets create yours.

  1. Brainstorm out a list of everything that gives you credibility. Especially things you feel awkward talking about. Include:
    1. Facts (your pedigree, training)
    2. Figures (how many people, how long, how much)
    3. Results you’ve achieved with personally and with clients
    4. Any awesome people you’ve worked
    5. Any awards you’ve won
    6. Anything the media have said about you
  1. Select the pieces that are relevant to the topic you’re writing the introduction for. For instance, I am also a wife, the mother of a 2 year old, a loud sister, and personal chef for my entire household. These things are not especially relevant for a business audience. But they feature heavily in my introductions to a women’s audience where women relate so strongly to the multiple hats we all have to wear. So grab the best pieces that show you off for this crowd.
  1. Formulate it into easy to read, short, sharp sentences and bullets. As you can see in mine, there are no long sentences with loads of commas. Its short sharp and to the point.

    **Important Tip** Adding bullets and paragraphs makes it more visually engaging and therefore easier for the MC to remember. We remember images far more quickly than words, so breaking it up this way gives some structure for the person trying to gt their head around it.

  1. Format it so it includes any “stage directions”. You’ll notice in mine I encourage the MC to get a hands up, and to make sure people are standing when I enter. This helps raise the energy of the audience before I come out. Note these “stage directions” are in italics so they don’t read them!

There you have it- a great introduction. But it doesn’t stop there. Here’s the steps you need to do in the lead up to an event to give the MC the greatest chance of succeeding.

Steps to get the most out of your MC

  1. Make tiny adjustments to the bio for the crowd you’re speaking to if necessary. For example, in my bio I would usually select the 3 big names myself if I know the audience. If it was a room full of only business coaches I would add “listen very carefully as Joanna takes you through how to add 100, 1000 or even 10,000 pounds to your COACHING BUSINESS each month using the skill of public speaking.
  2. Meet with MC before hand. Build rapport with them. Ask what they need to make their lives easier. Be NICE. (Lots of speakers aren’t!!) Then you can politely show them exactly what you mean with your stage directions. For example I would show them how I would elicit a hands up, or how long I would wait until people were standing. Oh and another thing: make sure before you go on stage they know at least your name by heart and they know how to pronounce it!  There’s nothing worse than having to read the name out, and then pronouncing it incorrectly!
  3. When you hit that stage, connect with your MC physically – a handshake or a hug – and thank them. Ask the audience to give them a round of applause. All this serves 2 purposes.
    1. It thanks the MC for doing an awesome job, and we all love thanks
    2. It transfers rapport from the MC to you… making your life easier. And I’m all for making your life easier.
  4. Finally, before you go home… don’t be a selfish git. (Am I allowed to say that? I just did). Find the MC and give them a huge thanks in person. If they also happen to be the person who arranged the event ask for their feedback and how else you can support them.

In Conclusion

Wow. This turned into a super long article… but I wanted to give you everything so you can be a success with this. Truly the MC can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your presentation, so it is well worth investing the time here.

 What questions do you have about your introduction? Any stories (good or bad) or tips you care to share?

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