Sweaty palms, feeble knees, and a speedy heartbeat are some of the ways anxiety manifests itself when you begin your hosting duties for an event.
Most times your body temperature changes and you become numb from the neck downward. Yes, for masters of ceremonies, this feeling isn’t new. It’s what I call: that regular guy.
There are ways you can cope with these feelings and kick into shape. Staying mentally and physically ready, prepared to climb that mountain.
Throughout the course of my career as a broadcaster/journalist, I picked up a habit that I’d eventually need in my profession as a master of ceremonies. So, how should you react when all of a sudden, these feelings begin to surface within 15 – 30 minutes of starting the event? Here are a few tips that truly work.
Do Some Light Physical Warm Up
There are simple exercises that you can do to unstiffen your muscles, neck, and back, allowing you to feel lighter. Take the shoulder exercise for instance – moving your shoulders back and forth and tilting your neck from left to right at the same time. For me, before hosting big events I get into the Mohammed Ali mode. Oh yes, backstage I am throwing punches along with little leg movements.
This helps me to see the pressure to deliver as an opponent that needs a beat down. Be warned though, you will want to do this type of physical warm up far away from people or the audience. I recall doing this at a car park. Unknowingly there was someone in another car next to me watching. Minutes later, he said, “Oga are you okay?” It was so funny. This was one of the ways we warmed up before going on air to present during my days working full time on the radio. The idea was simple – sound like you’re really excited.
Please, avoid overdoing this physical warm up so you don’t break an excessive sweat. It is not a gym exercise.
Do A Vocal Exercise
Keeping your vocal cords clear so as to sound audible of utmost importance. Clearing your throat is what you will want to do. Rather than straining your vocal cords, drink a lot of water and try to hum on a high and low pitch. This works all the time, and I love doing this also when I have a voice over to deliver. So, drink water [room temperature] and hum on different pitch levels.
When you notice that your voice is starting to crack up, especially when you have to speak loudly to an audience of over 1,300 guests, in a very large auditorium, water is your best source of vocal strength. Not a cold soft drink or alcohol. This will see you through the entire event.
Take Deep Breaths
Taking in deep breaths can mean more than just a psychological process as it helps to slow down the speedy heartbeat and imbue calm, patience and peace of mind. Once you are prepared for the job, taking deep breaths is a way of getting ready to let out all you have inside of you.
Introductions, speeches, and games become memorable are easier to present when calm. However, be wary that your being calm does not lull the flow of the occasion. Remember you are not a speaker ready to deliver a lecture, you are an MC and you determine and control the mood of every event. Each event comes with a different type of vibe.
Try these really smart and quick tips when next you have hosting duties and I’m sure you’ll feel good to know you’re completely in control.