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Joe Hanson: So You Want to Become a Master of Ceremonies? Here’s How to Start



I believe in the saying that there is no smoke without fire, especially when there are signs that you will always become something or you have always cultivated a liking for that profession you really admire! I mean, you wish and just want to be a Master of Ceremony [MC] right, yet you don’t know how to go about it?

I feel that I am not suitable to share tips and steps to take for each and every encounter you may face in becoming a master of ceremony/compere. With over 13 years on the job and still learning. I have also received numerous requests and questions on training, internship, so I thought to make it easier for all to enjoy it on BellaNaija.

According to Nick Hornby [Author- A long way down], “Everyone knows how to talk, but not everyone knows what to say”. This has spurred me on to write on ways you can become a better, confident and respected master of ceremony, because talent such as being a presenter, voice over actor or a broadcaster like myself is not just enough.

So, if you are on the path – already an anchorperson, presenter, compere then you just might need this to spice it up! However, if you just want to stumble on becoming one, the sky is big enough for all to fly.

Love the Art
Before you decide to further your hobby or profession as a compere, please ensure you love the art. Don’t just do it because you “think” you can make “money”. If money or even popularity is the driving force behind your wanting to become a master of ceremony, then you should have a rethink! You must be excited, happy and love the art. This excitement comes naturally as you aspire to learn! Avoid wanting to be social media famous and try to be a pro! This will eventually translate to many things including cash in the long run!

Determine the Type of Compere You Are
This question here forms the basis for a thread of conversation! I often hear people especially clients say – “shebi you can crack jokes too or please o, you also have to be a hype man at the end of the event”. The truth is, very few people can do all types of events perfectly well, as this is based on years of experience and being able to master the craft. Even professionals with years of experience will tell you to carve a niche.

Carve a Niche, Quickly
So, before you proceed or read this weekly, take some time to stare at the mirror and ask yourself – “Am I a formal or Informal compere?

A Formal MC anchors formal events such as graduation ceremonies, national projects, inaugural proceedings, anniversaries etc. Asides from dressing formal, this event type is governed by rules, directives and you are expected to speak properly, respectably and be well coordinated/mannered [which I will be focusing mostly on]. Gloomily, some end up looking tacky and use words not welcomed in a formal setting such as – ya’ll, what’s up people [Cannot wait to talk on this topic]

An Informal Mc anchors informal, opened events such as parties, concerts, music shows, where you can express yourself freely! The dress code is usually free and this is where you have your hype men/women, freestyle anchors and so on.

A Semi Formal Mc usually falls in between the above mentioned and this includes events that do not have rules but are guided by rules! Yes, they are formal yet informal. This includes a visit to a governor’s house, a little farewell gathering for an outgoing CEO, MINISTER, etc.

Once you understand what you’d like to become in few years along the line, then this will guide your focus. You cannot be a master of all, but you can only try!


1 Comment

  1. Iyobosa

    July 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Wow…I have always wondered if being a comedian is the only effective way of becoming a compere but with this I now know better.Pls Joe keep it coming,there are a lot of us out here who have prayed earnestly for such a feature.

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