How to MC a birthday party

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An MC that makes the birthday person feel special and loved

Got a friend's, colleague's or relatives' birthday coming up and you've been invited to be the MC? Here are some top tips on how to MC a birthday party.

There are some basic principles that you can follow when learning how to emcee a birthday party that will apply to all birthday parties, whether it's a 21st, 40th, 50th or 60th birthday party or even a 90th.

Of course, it is important to adapt everything that I suggest here to your individual party girl or boy. No one birthday party is the same and therefore any tips on how to emcee a birthday party have to be tailored to the personalities of the people involved, the ages of the people involved, and their interests and joys in life.

There are plenty more ideas on how to be a brilliant MC in our MC e-book "The beginner's guide to being a brilliant MC" that will stand you in good stead when coupled with these introductory tips.

How to MC a birthday party: Make them feel special

There is one aspect that you must know about how to emcee a birthday party: it is your job to make the birthday person feel special and loved. Everything you do is to help them to enjoy and celebrate their birthday so that they have many happy and wonderful memories of the party. Being an MC at a party is quite a responsibility!

If you concentrate on this one aspect it should inform everything that you do. So whatever you're thinking of doing always ask, "Will this make them feel special?".

Other questions you might ask yourself as you choose what to do and say as the MC at a party, are: "Will this make them feel proud of their life and age? Will this help them to feel delighted in what is happening? Will they love what we are doing so they smile with contentment as they remember this in a year's time?" .

It doesn't matter what the age of the person is when you are the MC at a party – your job is to make the birthday person feel wonderful.

How to MC a birthday party: 40th birthday ideas

If your friend, relative or colleague is having a 40th birthday party, include activities, presents, toasts, jokes or stories that focus on being 40.

This does not mean that you simply tell jokes and make comments about being over the hill. These days being 40 is the new 30! Also, some people don't want to think of 40 as being over the hill but rather that it's the point at which life begins. Focus on celebrating their age not on ridiculing it.

One idea that may help you emcee a 40th birthday party is to collect together a photo album or visual display of the birthday boy or girl, or all the important people or occasions in their lives over the last 40 years. This will make it a unique 40th birthday present and one they will treasure. It will also give you plenty to do and talk about when it comes to the MC speeches.

I will always remember my 40th birthday party: my friends got together and wrote and sang a song about me and the things I'd got up to in my life. I still have the words of the song written out and I have it displayed along with photographs of my 40th birthday on a plaque.

When you are the MC at a party you need to make sure that something unique and special is done like this for the birthday person.

How to MC a birthday party: 50th birthday ideas

One way to create speech ideas is to give an age related present that will inspire your birthday person, and to then use this as a basis for your MC speeches. Some people can feel a little disheartened about turning 50 and feel they are past it, so choose something to inspire them.

When you are the MC at a 50th birthday party find inspiring quotes, inspiring role models and inspirational stories about people who are 50 and over, that can show the birthday girl or boy that there is so much more to life ahead of them.

When you know how to MC a birthday party it will come automatically to you to find inspiring quotes, stories and toasts that are age-related. However, initially this may take you some extra work and preparation.

The sooner you start collecting these stories and examples the better. You can find them on the Internet, in your local library, on the television, and even amongst your friends and neighbours. There is no shortage of good role models for people who are 50.

As the MC at the party your job is to make the most of being 50.

I attended a very special 50th birthday party once. My friend's husband acted as the MC and gave an uplifting and inspiring speech which showed his total admiration for his wife and all that she had achieved in her first 50 years. All her friends and relatives who were attending the party then all climbed into a bus that had been hired and went to a delightful restaurant and continued the celebrations there.

How to MC a birthday party: 60th birthday ideas

When you're working out how to emcee a birthday party for a sixty-year-old you need to work out how to give yourself plenty of ideas and topics to talk about.

One way of generating good birthday topics and jokes is to give a present and to then talk about it. You might like to adapt an idea that one of my friends did for my 40 birthday.

She gave me 40 presents on my 40th. She gave me 10 of 4 different items. I got ten toothbrushes, ten big candles, ten sets of herbal tea bags and ten bundles of flowers, 40 presents altogether. It was quite amazing. She then spoke about why she had given me these particular items. I still have some of the candles left, and I still have the wonderful photographs of me grinning!

If you have a 60th birthday where you are the MC at the party you could arrive with 60 presents for your birthday girl or boy. Your main activity as the MC could be to give her or him the presents, to talk about the significance of the presents, and to allow the birthday person to open the presents one at a time.

Presents for a 60th birthday don't have to be big expensive luxury items; sometimes it's appreciated more if they are meaningful and personal. For example, each present can be small but wrapped up in an envelope so your friend has 60 envelopes to open!

How to MC a birthday party: Involve everyone in a good time

When you are working out how to MC a birthday party talk with the birthday person to find out what he or she wants. Also, find out who are the really important people who are coming to the party so you can highlight them and make them feel extra special in your MC speeches.

Also, discuss with the birthday girl or boy what kinds of activities they would like you to host. You need to find out what the birthday person likes to do and finds fun and enjoyable. Someone who is celebrating their 21st birthday is unlikely to want the same activities as someone celebrating their 60 birthday.

Not everybody likes birthday party games. Not everybody likes to have a fancy dress party. Not everyone wants music or dancing. Some like surprises and some don't. Everybody is different in what they want and enjoy. When you are working out how to MC a birthday party talk to the people involved first, and do as much preparation as you can.

Our book, "How to be a brilliant MC" can help you with this so you know what to cover and how to emcee the birthday party in the best way possible so everyone has the greatest time. We also have some free birthday jokes you can have when you buy the book.