Top shelf MCs know how to say a lot in a few words. They keep their guests alert and anticipating what’s comes next by being brief and to the point. Like a good butcher, their words are cut to the bone; there’s no filler or fat.
WAFFLE IS BORING
Long-winded introductions and announcements leave your audience confused, annoyed and bored. Brevity makes you memorable. And likable. Your meaning is crystal clear. Experienced MCs never ramble. They edit and refine every word for maximum impact.
Here are 5 ways you can retain rapt audience attention and communicate information with an entertaining and captivating style – without any extra words said or read.
CRAFT SIMPLE POWERFUL STATEMENTS
Short sentences are electrifying. A lengthy introduction stuffed with gloriously descriptive adjectives might look impressive on paper but becomes a jumbled convoluted mess when reading aloud. Ensure that every phrase is clear, direct and easy to understand.
USE STRAIGHT-FORWARD WORDS
Big words don’t sound clever – just pompous. Calling a wedding ring ‘a shining band of aurum’ will baffle your audience. You’ll sound self-important and diminish rapport. Thesauruses are useful – but stick to normal, conversational words.
Detailed scripts sound robotic. Spice things up by injecting your personality and adding your favourite relevant quotes, one-liners, and stunning statistics.
Whether it’s from a famous poet, a kick-ass movie star or a guest at the event, great quotes illustrate a point very effectively. Stay relevant – quoting Star Wars is a big mistake at a Star Trek convention!
And support your personality with vocal variety. It’s not what you say but how you say it. Remember the mantra: High and Low. Fast and Slow.
It takes a lot of effort to be brief. French philosopher Blaise Pascal understood this when he wrote “I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.”
Length isn’t necessarily impressive. Ten powerful, impactful words are much better than a hundred weak ones.
Go edit your scripts. Choose words that best describe your meaning. Keep essential information but ruthlessly cut the clutter. Break up long sentences. Replace average words with powerful, attention-grabbing ones. Rinse and Repeat. Then inject your humour and authentic personality.
USE YOUR FACE
Don’t underestimate the power of your face. Just look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s famous eyebrows! A well-timed facial expression can replace a big chunk of your script. Gain confidence by practising expressions in the mirror, and use them when you speak. The same goes for body language – which can be restricted by the lectern – but speaks volumes and makes a large visual statement. Another 1,000 words saved!
Use this rule of brevity not only on stage but all the time. Practice speaking in an economical way whenever you can – and next time you MC, the result will be clean, concise, clear, and clutter-free communication (so many Cs).
See you on stage