Duties of an MC

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MCing? Research your event thoroughly

Have you just been invited to be an MC? If so, you're probably trying to find out exactly what the duties of an MC involve.

It can be difficult to define exactly the duties of a master of ceremony because there are so many and they vary according to the event, the event organiser, the audience, the event venue, the topic and more. So many people think the duties of an MC are just around telling a few jokes and introducing and thanking people, but there is much more to it than that.

Rest assured, we are here to help. We will look at some key duties of a master of ceremony here and give you plenty more in the MC e-book: "The beginner's guide to being a brilliant MC". We want you to be brilliant and know how hard it is to be one without the correct information on the duties of an MC.

Duties of a master of ceremonies: To know the event

The first step in drawing up your list of duties as a master of ceremonies is to investigate and research your event thoroughly. Before you decide anything about your speech or how long you are going to speak, or what MC jokes will be relevant you must understand the event thoroughly.

The more that you know about the event the better. In order to draw up the list of duties of an MC there are multiple aspects of the event that you need to know about.

This means you need to find out the theme of the event, the purpose of the event, the duration of the event, the type of event, the program for the event, the length of the event, the number attending the event, the venue for the event, and the audience who will be at the event. Yes, all of this, and honestly, much much more!

The duties of a master of ceremony involve a lot of research and preparation. Start researching your event now.

Duties of a master of ceremonies: To integrate everything

The duties of an MC include making sure that everything that happens on the day brings out the best in the event.

The duties of a master of ceremonies also include making sure that everything at the event is integrated and flows from one item to another. Disconnected events do not work well. The MC has to make sure there is a seamless flow across the whole event. That is a pivotal component of the duties of an MC. Can you do this?

This means that if you're giving a master of ceremonies speech it is relevant to the theme of the event, the organiser's needs and the audience needs. You are there to please and serve the organiser and not just the audience or yourself.

Duties of a master of ceremonies: To time everything

Timing is a key aspect of the duties of a master of ceremonies. I hope you are good at keeping an event to time. The MC has to keep people to time, whether they be the Company CEO, the presenter of the awards, a visiting dignitary, or a series of speakers and performers.

I can't reinforce enough that it is part of the duties of an MC, for the MC to keep everything to time.

What this means is that as the MC you are to make sure all deadlines are met consistently and throughout the event and by everyone. Are you ready to do this?

If the MC fails in doing this, everyone involved can become upset and irritated. This includes the photographers, the stall holders, the audio-visual technicians, the camera crew, the caterers, the speakers, the sponsors, the organisers, and so on.

The audience too can be frustrated by a schedule or program that the MC has allowed to run over time. Seriously consider the duties of an MC and keep everything to time.

It probably seems that the duties of a master of ceremony can be quite difficult and require clear thinking and skill. They do. However, we go over ways to manage the timing in the MC e-book for you. Do not leave timing to chance.

I have many examples of events where the master of ceremonies allowed people to run over time and annoyed both speakers and the audience. However, it isn't always that people go over time.

One of the duties as an MC that I once had to handle, was to fill in time. The keynote speaker unexpectedly stopped 20 minutes short of the finish time for her speech. I ended up suddenly having to fill for 20 minutes. Argh!

You need to be prepared for anything in your duties as a master of ceremony. Help is at hand in our e-book to make sure you know what to do.