Marketing Guide

Six essential don’ts for a master of ceremonies’ checklist

When you are selected to emcee for an event and you start your research you generally base all your research work on the dos of emceeing. But to be better than the average emcees you need an edge that the others might lack. While you have to excel at engaging the audience at all times and maintaining a flow to the event, you also have to look for things that are to be tackled or better yet avoided completely. Here are some suggestions on what not to do as an emcee.

  1. Do not drag the show on with a lengthy script

Keeping your script short and simple is a great way of reaching out to many people in the audience. Especially in a corporate event or dinner party, where many potential clients might be in the audience, you must not keep narrating and instead focus more on providing just a basic introduction to the initiative or the company. Staying fast-paced and high on energy can itself become engaging. You can make use of funny yet inspirational quotes or crack jokes when things seem becoming tiresome or boring for audiences; however, always respect the script.

  1. Do not improvise or make it personal

An emcee’s role is to hold the audience’s attention and provide the show with a certain flow. He might spend more time on the stage than anyone else, but he is not the star of the show. Whether you have been hired to emcee or you are doing it pro-bono, do not bring your own agendas into the event. Stay true to the mission or purpose of the event and avoid adding personal stories unless they are short and relevant.

Another important thing to remember is not to go off-script and drift into irrelevant discussions. This will irritate the audiences and will not be entertaining at all for anyone. Even jokes fall in this category of improvisations. You might find a story funny when frankly it might not be so funny to others. When the joke falls flat, it will result in the guests feeling uncomfortable or even embarrassed and will obviously dampen the evening.

  1. Trust your script writer

If your company has asked you to follow a script written by a scriptwriter, then you must trust his vision. Making undue changes to the script may cause management problems at the stage. A good script sets the right tone for the event and creates a smooth transition between speakers and segments. It is crafted to relay certain information and affect the audiences in a certain way, and any changes you make might set off the tone of the event. Additionally, the scripts are often written as road maps for the entire team that manages the event. When you make uninformed changes to the script, you might disrupt the harmony between the lights, sounds, and A/V management teams.

  1. Avoid being hurtful

While you might not be such a person at heart, you must carefully examine your script beforehand to make sure that there are no sexist, racist or hurtful comments. While most successful Indian emcees understand this fact fully, still some of them make the mistake of not thinking through before putting a comment or joke on the script. Perform a detailed scan of the script and understand what you are saying before you go on the stage. You must also avoid controversial comments or introductions and stick to pleasant things only. Adding a reference that you think might be funny may be taken in a wrong way, so stay cautious of hurting anybody’s feelings.

  1. Do not apologize

When you are emceeing a huge event, several things can go wrong. The A/V coordinator might go out of tune or the light and sound systems may start playing tricks, this happens and it is not your fault. You do not have to apologize for mistakes that are out of your control. A great emcee will know how to cover these mishaps in the most formal and entertaining way to avoid embarrassing the sponsors.


Paying attention to the don’ts of emceeing is just as important as the dos. Avoid drifting off-subject and improvising with personal stories or comments. Do not try to be funny by force and avoid references that might offend audience members. Stick strictly to your script and you will do great as an emcee.


Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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