The job of an emcee, otherwise known as master of ceremonies, is a challenging and underestimated job that involves strong public speaking skills. The duties of an emcee vary depending on what the event is, but regardless of the function, it's an important job. Having a good emcee host your event makes a big difference in how successful it is.
No matter what the event is, one of the duties of the emcee is to introduce people. If it's a wedding, the emcee introduces the new couple along with the parents and wedding party. At other functions, such as an entertainment performance, it's up to the emcee to introduce the various acts that are performing. If it's a speaking engagement, the emcee introduces the speakers and other key members. Proper introductions are also an important duty, because they should sound professional and the credits of the person being introduced should be mentioned in an engaging way to get the attention of the audience.
Setting the Tone
Setting the tone of the room is one of the most important duties of the emcee. As the first person to come on stage, it is his responsibility to create a mood by what he says and how he says it, and with positive audience interaction. A good emcee has the power to set an enthusiastic tone to an event and get the crowd engaged and excited. This includes setting a formal or serious tone to the event, depending on what it calls for.
Sometimes events go awry, depending on variables that can happen. Distractions, audience members and speakers can pull focus by doing or saying something inappropriate or out of line with the event. It's the emcee's job to bring the focus back to the purpose of the event and to do it in an engaging way. Some functions have so much activity going on that it's easy to lose attention, and the emcee must guide the audience back to what they should be focusing on.
Depending on the function, it might be required of the emcee to get the audience excited for a climactic moment in the presentation. This is a skill that engages the audience and builds tension within the room. The emcee has to generate enough excitement so the moment doesn't fall short of expectations and the crowd has a good time. The emcee should also have an air of spontaneity, be quick on her feet and handle any unexpected occurrence with grace.