Selecting an Emcee: 7 Questions to Ask Potential Candidates

Questions to Ask Potential Candidates

When it comes to choosing someone to host an event, many would immediately look into hiring famous personalities like comedians, actors, and so on. But while these people may have been in the entertainment industry for a long time, it doesn’t necessarily make them the best choice when it comes to being the master of ceremonies in an event.

More often than not, organizers or even businessmen who plan their own corporate gatherings tend to forget that these personalities are typically given scripts to read while on the air. They also frequently appear behind microphones and cameras with a director and crew, which is an entirely different experience when compared to speaking to a live audience.

Remember that an emcee is responsible for presenting every part of the event while laying the groundwork and establishing rapport with the audience. This is a skill that requires not only experience in public speaking, but also some training.

To make sure you hire the right person for the job, below are seven questions that you need to ask a potential emcee presenter during the selection process:

Question #1: What types of events have you been part of?

You’re looking for someone with experience, and that experience should be in line with the type of event you’re organizing. For this very reason, remember to ask the candidate whether they are comfortable with the setting of the event. If they can navigate the environment effectively, they should be able to aid you in achieving the goals of your event.

For example, if you’re looking for someone to serve as the master of ceremonies for your corporate event, you should seek out a person who knows how corporate events operate. They should also know what to ask and whom to talk to in order to learn more about who will be attending the event. This way, they can plan topics and modify their style of emceeing to ensure that the audience will stay energized and comfortable.

Question #2: Who trained you as an emcee?

Before this question, you should ask first whether the candidate received some level of training in the craft. Once you confirm that they did, you can proceed with this follow-up question to learn more about their background.

Remember that when you hire a trained emcee, you should have nothing – or, at least, little – to worry about. If they are truly qualified, they should already know the secrets and tricks of the trade.

Question #3: What would you do if…?

Asking hypothetical questions is also a good way to assess whether an emcee can handle scenarios that aren’t in the program. Don’t forget that no event really ever goes as it is planned, so you have to hire a master of ceremonies who can easily solve any problem that may arise, and adapt to the situation immediately.

Pick out someone who has the ability to anticipate and handle changes as they arise, no matter how challenging or surprising these may be. Whether it’s an issue with the venue, an incident involving one of the attendees, or a last-minute addition or adjustment to the speaker roster, they should be able to adjust seamlessly.

Question #4: Have you tried working with this type of audience before?

Another way to determine a candidate’s capabilities is to ask if they have any experience emceeing a program with a specific type of crowd. In some cases, emcees need to adjust to the type of crowd they will be speaking to.

The demographics of an audience has a huge effect on the event. There are specific sets of unspoken rules that dictate the appropriate behavior and language to be used, which an emcee should know about.

Question #5: What tools do you use to stay on track of the event schedule?

Having the right master of ceremonies for your event can help ensure that it runs smoothly and on schedule. Even if there are no perfect events, your emcee should be able to adjust segments accordingly to make it appear to the audience that everything is going as planned.

Since keeping the event on schedule is an all-consuming feat, you have to make sure that your emcee presenter can do so while still maintaining audience engagement. They should also be able to multitask as they might need to monitor the runtime for each speaker and keep them in track, all while staying vigilant for cues from the event organizers.

Question #6: What presentation formats have you tried working with?

Different programs follow varying flows and formats. When applying to serve as the master of ceremonies for a specific event, the candidate should at least know how to facilitate discussions and moderate a panel.

Remember that well-run panels are an added dimension to the event and help engage the audience. In contrast, a poorly executed program or interview can lead to a dull and disastrous gathering.

Question #7: What would you like to ask me?

In an interview with a candidate emcee, you should expect to be asked some questions as the organizer as well.

An efficient master of ceremonies should be clear on what needs to be done, and one way to ensure that is to clarify things even before getting picked the gig. If the person you’re eyeing for the job doesn’t try to inquire about the message, theme, and purpose of the gathering, then it would be best to move on to the next candidate.

If a prospective emcee asks questions, it would also help you get an inkling of what they can do: their style, experience, and comfort level in the trade. Always pick a candidate who has created their own process in learning high-level information and inside details to be able to usher the event towards success.

Making the Right Choice

Asking the right questions has always been the best tool in making the right decision. To ensure the success of the event you’re planning, be sure to include the questions listed in this article. This way, you can assess which candidate emcee is the best choice.

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