event host mc is brief

Waffle is boring.

Brevity makes you memorable. Likable. Your meaning is crystal clear. Experienced MCs study this – they never ramble. They edit and refine every word for maximum impact. No filler or fat.

For instance, if a speaker has 1 minute to tell a funny story or a joke, the MC has about 10 seconds to do the same. That’s why most MCs use one-liners. As Shakespeare said so well ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’.

Here are 5 ways you can command attention and communicate information with an entertaining and captivating style without extra words said or read.

1. Craft simple, powerful sentences.

Short sentences are electrifying. A lengthy introduction stuffed with gloriously descriptive adjectives might look impressive on paper but becomes a jumbled convoluted mess when reading aloud. Ensure that every sentence is clear, direct and easy to understand.

2. Favour simple, powerful words.

Big words don’t sound clever – just pompous. Calling a wedding ring ‘a shining band of aurum’ will baffle your audience. You’ll sound self-important and diminish rapport. Thesauruses are useful but stick to normal, conversational words. Long-winded verbose introductions and announcements leave your audience confused, annoyed and bored.

3. Express yourself.

Thoroughly refined scripts sound robotic. Spice things up by injecting your personality and adding your favourite relevant quotes, one-liners, and statistics. Choose powerful words that best describe your meaning.

Whether it’s from a famous poet, a kick-ass movie star or a guest at the event, great quotes can illustrate a point very effectively. Choose quotes carefully, and anticipate audience reaction.

Quoting Star Wars is a big mistake at a Star Trek convention! Beware of replacing the original thought with an excessive quotation. Instead, use extremely relevant quotes sparingly to clarify particularly important points.

“If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams – the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” Ahhh.
by Robert Southey, the English poet.

4. Be aware, self-disciplined and decisive.

It takes a lot of effort to be brief. French philosopher Blaise Pascal understood this when he wrote:
“I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”

Length isn’t necessarily impressive. Ten powerful, impactful words are much better than a hundred weak ones.

Go edit your scripts after you read this article. Keep essential information and ruthlessly cut the clutter. Break up long sentences. Replace boring words with powerful, attention-grabbing ones. Repeat the process until your scripts are thoroughly refined. Then inject your humour and authentic personality.

5. Bonus tip: Use your face.

Don’t underestimate the power of your face. Just look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s famous eyebrows! A well-timed facial expression can replace a big chunk of your script. Gain confidence by practicing expressions in the mirror, and use them when you speak. The same goes for body language – which can be restricted by the lectern – but speaks volumes and makes a large visual statement. Another 1,000 words saved!

Use this rule of brevity not only on stage but all the time. Practice speaking in an economical way whenever you can – and next time you MC, the result will be clean, concise, clear, and clutter-free communication (so many Cs).

There is more information on brevity in my book PRESENTATION EXCELLENCE available from here

* Event Host MCs was previously known as a Master of Ceremonies or the old-fashioned term ‘Master of Ceremony’


  • MC Femi Moses, 13 May, 2018

    I need information about what to do as mc :)

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