May 29, 2004

Beyond Compere: A Pocket Guide to Being an Emcee
Terry Seabrooke

Thank You, Ladies and Germs – This book is a treasure chest of good and practical advice, suggested to me by the magician Eugene Burger before I first emceed the Northern Star Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner. Among the book’s many lessons: (1) Have fun. (2) Bring extra material in case you need to stretch. (3) Remember that you, as emcee, are not the star. People should leave the evening saying, “It was a great show and it moved along fast.” (4) Put the audience at ease and let them know what’s going on. (5) Arrive early – and see how the microphones work. (6) Find out what each act requires for their introduction. Always use their name as your last words. (7) Get their names right. (8) Make sure they’re present! (9) Start on time – and end on time. (10) If possible, “back introduce” the opening act. (11) Set the mood immediately. (12) Watch – and listen to! – each act or speaker. (13) Think of yourself, the emcee, as “insurance.” (14) Don’t just introduce the acts. Present them. (15) Don’t make a gag out of an act … at least not until the act is finished! (16) Be brief and avoid statements about the performer’s “excellence.” Never tell the audience how they are going to react. (17) Notes look tacky. (18) Never ask the audience if they’re enjoying themselves. Appear as if you’re enjoying the show. (19) Avoid tired phrases, such as, “Let’s have a big hand for …” and “Ladies and Gentlemen …” (20) Don’t crash in on an act’s applause.


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