Ever heard of African Time? I am sure that isn’t new to you. These two words should never be added to your activity list or mindset.
Growing to become a good emcee calls for promptness, being conscious of time and avoiding lateness. Imagine what your performance will become when you rush into the venue of an event 10 minutes before it starts?
There are benefits to arriving early and they include the following:
You are relaxed
When you arrive on time, you settle in nicely. This gives room for “relaxation of the mind, body and the nerves”. Most cases, I tend to walk up and down the event venue, sort of sightseeing. In that way, I am used to the spaces and nothing seems new to me even before guests, the audience starts to come in. This gives me some form of relaxation and mostly calm with the proper heartbeat which aids in reducing fear or anxiety.
You become familiar with the environment
When you meet people involved as organizers, vendors [security, sound, décor, etc.] even early birds [guests who come in early] before the event starts, you get a little familiar with them. This eases pressure and builds familiarity.
During an event, I tried knowing few names and relationship background of some guests, while having a little conversation with them. This enabled me to call on their names when it was time for recognition of friends and well-wishers who attended the reception.
To the surprise of some in the audience, they thought that I was really friends with the bride and groom. If only they knew that we just met some few weeks before, when I was asked to be their MC.
Familiarize yourself with not just the environment [venue] but also with people playing an important role on the day – such as the MD, CEO, Speakers, Event Planner, Chairman or Director. This gives you a sense of belonging and the confidence of being in control.
You can properly execute
A well planned and rehearsed delivery can mean two things – time and preparation. Focusing on the first, arriving at the venue on time, helps you put in a clear and literal perspective to your initial plans using the program/event flow. If it is a corporate event, you can begin to pick standing areas or visualize what it will truly look like when you are about to do this or that. Remember, the bottom line is to enable you to have a near perfect delivery like you live, eat and breathe on hosting the event all day.
You can properly manage the event flow
You will agree with me that there are always changes to be made in the event flow/program at intervals even from the beginning! Most times you are looking for who is to say the opening prayer, a change of chairman due to circumstances beyond control, a surprise performance, a speaker is absent, a replacement or adjustment in the program flow. If you come in late, you will find it a bit uneasy to run through these changes while trying to compose yourself.
This doesn’t mean that changes won’t happen even when you come in early, but you are well prepared to handle the situation while attending to your other duties as an MC.
Watch this video for further tips.