Top 5 Qualities of an Outstanding MC

Were you asked to be the host of an event before? How was your first time holding a microphone? How did it feel being onstage?

If you are looking to build a career out of being an event presenter, you should also begin to develop stellar qualities.

Glow from Within

You may have experienced being an MC on stage one time or another. The experience may have inspired you to explore the opportunities of becoming a professional one. Did you know that aside from the skills needed to speak in front of a crowd, you also need to build yourself up?

A master of ceremonies, popularly shortened to MC or also known as emcee, must also carry specific personality traits that will help him or her become one of the best in the profession. This is because there will be different situations that will require not only your presenter skills but also the application of your mental, emotional, and social skills.

To be ahead of the game, you need to make sure that you are equipped with the right mindset and the have the emotional maturity to face challenges as they arise. As a professional MC, you are in charge of controlling how the event on stage will go. You have to manage the crowd with your words and actions. You need to be the conductor that will direct how the show proceeds.

Having the right characteristics will help you do all these things. To help you, here are five qualities you must have to become an outstanding MC:

1. Be Inquisitive

It is essential to have a questioning mind when you are an MC. From the start of the project up the very end, your mind should be able to ask intelligent questions that will help make the show even better.

There is usually a meeting with the event organizers before the show. Take this opportunity to ask questions about the target audience, the theme and topics to be discussed, and the event itself.

You should be interested in the event so you can have a good handle on what to ask or what to say during the show. You should also ask about topics to be avoided, as there are guests or companies who do not want to talk about specific matters.

Questions are also a good way to interact with the audience during the event. It can be an effective icebreaker or a way to get reactions that will spur a healthy discussion. Just remember that your questions must be always relevant and never offensive.

2. Be Level-headed

You must be unflappable. There will be times when the event doesn’t go as planned – panelists may argue amongst themselves, guests may have outbursts, or contestants may freeze. During these unforeseen circumstances, you as an MC must remain calm and collected.

It helps when the master of ceremonies is composed. This will help steer the direction of the program on the right track, pacify a highly charged atmosphere, or put guests at ease. Being easily disconcerted or flustered will also affect your audience, and not in a good way.

3. Be Ready

Sometimes, things don’t go on schedule, guests fail to appear on time, or problems with the SFX can crop up. This is the reason why you need to always be ready for whatever happens. Anticipate that problems or certain concerns will arise no matter the preparation. Live programs for example, can go wrong any moment and you, as the host must be ready for any eventuality.

You should also be adaptable to situations. There may be a slight change in the program, a guest may be coming in late, or the big boss may just have thought of springing a surprise. The ability to improvise when needed is especially helpful.Being able to adapt to last-minute changes will also save you and help make the show flow smoothly.

4. Be Conscious of Time

As a host, you should be time-conscious. First of all, do not be late to any engagement. Respect the time of the people you work with. Being late can cause a domino effect and it will reflect on how unprofessional you can be.

At the same time, you should also be conscious of time when you are onstage. Make sure that you follow the instructions as previously discussed with the production team. Stick to the time frame given to you, for example, when moderating a discussion.

Proper timing is also crucial when delivering your lines. When the timing is off, you might fail to engage your audience, or if you speak too long, it will just lead them into boredom or disinterest.

5. Be Sociable

It won’t hurt to smile. Just smiling at your audience at the proper time will already do part of your job. It will help them feel at ease and create a sense of rapport.

You should also strive to be sociable with co-workers – from the caterers to the production staff, to the movers and shakers behind the event. Having a good working relationship with everyone involved in the program will pave the way to a more successful event.

Shine Bright

When you are glowing from within, thanks to your dazzling personality and characteristics, it would be easy for you to also shine bright. Coupled with your eloquence and magnificent stage presence, these personal qualities will be round up to make you a 100 percent effective MC.

Don’t discount good personality, as it will go a long way. Your personable attributes will be the ingredients that will make your rise to MC fame smoother and easier.


Hisham Wyne is an internationally recognised MC, broadcaster, presenter and moderator who help the world’s best-known brands create memorable occasions. He regularly hosts conferences, panel sessions, gala dinners and award ceremonies for some of the world’s best brands. With 150+ events under his belt, Hisham is the professional speaker that brands and agencies turn to when wanting to interview, engage and entertain government VVIPs and Hollywood celebrities.