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How To Be A Great MC, Moderator and Host

Updated on January 10, 2011

An MC / Emcee Has A Big Responsibility

Have you ever been asked to be the MC, and you turned down the opportunity. Or are you getting your feet wet being an MC. Do you want to improve your game as an MC? And are you looking to hire an MC or need one for an upcoming program.  MC stands for Mistress or Master of Ceremony.  Being an MC is an exciting opportunity and can help you grow and develop as person. It is an opportunity to be a leader, and have fun at the same time. It is also an opportunity to show off your talent and uplift people. Follow me, because I have a surprise for you at the end.

The purpose of this Hub is to provide you with the right tools to be a confident exciting MC that can create a happy outcome for every event you host.

Enthusiastic MC
Enthusiastic MC | Source

The function of an MC is very critical to the flow of the program. You will want to be careful in your selection of this individual. In many cases you will be able to use a friend or family member to fill this role. And there will be times when you want to hire a professional to satisfy this need.

The role of the individual that keeps a program, meeting or party move along smoothly is the MC, Moderator or Host. Since these terms are interchangeable, I will use MC for brevity sake. The function of the MC may include:

  • Opening the Program with a greeting
  • Calling the order of the Program
  • Setting the mood of the Program
  • Announcing the Housekeeping matters
  • Presenting and Introducing Program Guest
  • Observing the audience needs
  • Making the attendees feel at home

Types of Programs to MC

Birthday Parties

Retirement Parties

Staff Appreciation Events

Conference Meetings

Wedding Receptions

Television Shows

Radio Shows

Over the years, I have been the MC at least fifty times. Never a disappointing program. Being an MC has been my way of having fun and expressing who I am. Those of you who have ever been an MC know what I am talking about. When you put that microphone in hand, your whole world changes. Something comes over you and you feel like you can conquer the world. Your focus is on making the program a success. You take on the burden of making everyone in the audience feel glad that they came.

Seven basic characteristics you must possess to be an excellent MC:

  1. Excellent Communicator
  2. Follow Protocol
  3. Knowledgeable about the event
  4. High Energy
  5. Magnetic Personality
  6. Flexible
  7. Confident

All Time Favorite Game Show Hosts –

  • Richard Dawson, Family Feud
  • Bob Barker, The Price Is Right
  • Alex Trebek, Jeopardy!
  • Gene Rayburn, Match Game
  • Chuck Woolery, Love Connection
  • Monty Hall, Let’s Make A Deal
  • Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune
  • Groucho Marx, You Bet Your Life
  • Peter Marshall, Hollywood Squares
  • Dick Clark, The $10,000 Pyramid
  • Jack Barry, Twenty One
  • Bob Eubanks, The Newlywed Game
  • Guy Smiley, Sesame Street

Popular Professional Game Show Hosts Today, MC’s (Short List):

  • Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
  • Wayne Brady, Let’s Make A Deal
  • Nick Cannon, America’s Got Talent
  • Steve Harvey, Family Feud
  • Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal
  • Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
  • Meredith Vieira, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Ever thought about being a Professional MC, Game Show Host or Moderator. These professionals usually have a background in Acting, Journalism or Broadcasting. Their lives are filled with acting, reporting, or writing. They love talking and communicating. Much of what they do is impromptu, because you cannot predict what your audience or contestants might do. You have to be quick on your feet and shoot from the hip.

Comedy plays an important part in being an MC too. Notice how the Host always seems to get a laugh out of the audience. They have to be able to make light of blunders and any negative expressions from the guest or the audience. They have full control of what goes on, and have to monitor the goings on on the set.

All-in-All, the MC is a fun person who brings the enthusiasm needed to keep viewers coming back again and again. I hope you will feel more comfortable the next time you are asked to be the MC of a program or the next time you take on this assignment.



Submit a Comment

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

    Thanks, Sima...I'll keep that in mind should I decide to have a new hobby, ha ha.

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 4 years ago from Michigan

    Thanks Denise. The last MC event I did was my girlfriend's Retirement Party - it was actually last minute. She had worked 30 years for a Health Organization. I did not know 2/3 rds of the guest. But because there are basic principles of being an MC, it was a cinch! I made all the guest feel special, added a few interactive games and spoke highly of the Honoree!! By the way, You're a great Moderator here on Hubpages.



  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

    Wow, what a fun hub, Sima, I had no idea that you had a talent for this activity. Although I've never 'MC'd' an event, I have had to thank a large group of people at the end of our dance recitals. There is a bit of fun with the microphone, but I was usually more nervous than relaxed. UP/A

  • CookiesNoCrumbs profile image

    CookiesNoCrumbs 5 years ago from New Jersey

    Treasureofheaven you have truly inspired me to continue my journey. I have been on the quest for many years to achieve my own business. I have been robbed in the process, but never gave up hope that someday God will allow me to interact with the right individuals who are truly serving his people. My faith has stressed far beyond the mustard seed. Thanks

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    The SassyWyfe, thanks for reading this twice - you are welcome. I am glad you are taking the plunge - you obviously have some talent.

    Cruise Director - tell me more about that - this is interesting. I am happy for you! If you need anything else let me know.

  • profile image

    The SassyWyfe 6 years ago

    I had to re-read this article today. I've been asked to be the "Cruise Director" of a 13 week long workshop at my church. The coordiantors decided to make the request after listening to a testimonial about the workshop I presented during one of the sessions. I remembered your ariticel and decided not to hesitate this time. I said YES! I'm going for it, full steam ahead! Thanks again! T

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Trinsick, oh stop it, please don't let this hub change your mind about you. As I look at your avatar, you look very capable, skilled, talented.....I could say more.

    If MC is who you think you are, practice more and train for what you want to be.

    We all strive here on HubPages to be the best we can be!

    I want to thank you for stopping by and making a statement today.

  • Trinsick profile image

    Trinsick 6 years ago from Cali

    I'd like to fancy my self a good MC, but really I'm not, after reading this especially :).

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Thanks for your comment Sara. Each of us know an MC, and they come across a certain way. Some people have made it a profession, while many individuals have had to be coaxed into the task.

    Truthfully, it is not easy to do. It can be made easier by following the direction I pointed out.

    Try it once, and you'll know how it feels.

  • profile image

    Sara 6 years ago

    My brother has been an MC at many of occasions, and he is great at it.

    I don't know it it is right for me?

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    QudsiaP1, Wow, you know what MC'ing is all about. Glad to meet you. I appreciate your thoughts on this hub. You have to enjoy being the MC to be asked so often.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • QudsiaP1 profile image

    QudsiaP1 6 years ago

    Very good hub, you point out the right things throughout.

    I am mostly chosen to be MC, almost every where, so I know.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Okay Lori TheSassyWyfe Madison, I am glad this article helped you see that MC'ing is a natural extension of something you've been doing most of your life! Good for you - some people flow naturally, and others need some training to develop and hone their skill.

    Thanks for the comment, do come back!

  • profile image

    Lori TheSassyWyfe Madison 6 years ago

    Great information! I've only recently discovered a gift I have for MC'ing events. It's was quite by accident, but then again, it seemed to flow naturally from performing. I've performed songs most of my life but I've always been a little shy about conversing with my audience between songs. This article helped me to see that MC'ing is a natural extension of something I've been doing most of my life!

    Thank again

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Thanks Hubpages for putting this Hub on your Main Page today!

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Thanks JeanieR, I am glad you see merit in this information. My aim is for this Hub to me Useful. Thanks for sounding off on this "practical" Hub as you say. See you round.

  • JeanieR profile image

    JeanieR 6 years ago from Sequoia National Forest, CA

    Well put together! You could print this one off and hand it to someone just recruited to MC who has never done it before. Enough sound practical advice to get anyone going!

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Hi Susan52, I am glad you noticed the "best" list - this list is for people with a little age on

    Your son made the people happy as he was happy! Whatever spirit the MC/Host has will rub off on the audience.

    I do thank you greatly for bringing your thoughts.

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    Ingenira, much of being a great MC has to do with mimicking - your style though. Do what the Pros do, and you'll be alright. Some people are born with this talent - many study and learn it. If you draw from within, you will be okay. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Susan52 profile image

    Susan Deppner 6 years ago

    My son was MC at a special event for his work last year and did a fabulous job. He's a funny guy and really enjoyed having an audience.

    You offer great advice here. Love the "best" lists, too!

  • Ingenira profile image

    Ingenira 6 years ago

    I always thought those MCs are born talented for the work.... those charisma are not easy to learn.

  • Treasuresofheaven profile image

    Sima Ballinger 6 years ago from Michigan

    SJKSJK, now you must put into practice what you have learned. I challenge you on being shy - perhaps you are not comfortable with you wonderful self. Discover your strong points - what is best about you, what do you like and go from there. I also challenge you to Volunteer to speak or lead a group discussion.

    As always, thanks for bringing on your comments which are most appreciated, and you were first - nothing shy about that.

  • SJKSJK profile image

    SJKSJK 6 years ago from delray beach, florida

    I have taken a few courses in public speaking, but I am shy. Thanks for this advice.