Full details of The Expert MC Toolkit & Resource Manual Update!
Full details on the book HERE
We recently added a new Chapter to The Expert MC Toolkit & Resource Manual. This is the 3rd Bonus Chapter with a couple more to come soon. Once these are complete all owners of the book will get a brand new copy with all the new chapters included.
This new chapter looks at 10 techniques to get more MC Assignments & grow your MC Business and is suitable for both beginner and experienced MC’s. Here’s just a couple of the ideas from the new chapter. You can read the rest in the Book.
#Sell from the Stage
Another subtle thing you should start doing is to be selling yourself from the stage. But, this has to be done carefully.
You see the problem is, if you do your job well, your audience will often assume you are part of the company, part of the organising team or part of the association.
I often get asked “how long have you worked in engineering?” Or “what’s your computer background?” depending on the group I’m working for. So try and introduce the fact that you are a freelance MC into the proceedings.
I sometimes mention this when I thank the organising team from the stage. “I’m a freelance MC, I get to work with many different groups and organisers, these guys have been terrific, don’t you think?” This has often prompted people to then come up and ask about my services and get a card. While you are actually thanking the team, you are also planting the seed.
Another approach is to make a joke earlier to the audience. “I was MC with a group of Accountants last week, they were … ” Once again the seed is planted that you are a “gun for hire.”
Now this will probably be more applicable to people who have got paid engagements coming in already, but if you are aware of the technique right from the start it will really help.
There’s a huge range of events and markets that use paid MC’s. We cover many of these in our articles on the Blog and in our Video series.
The amount of marketing effort and money to obtain paid work in any of these is much the same.
So why not Focus on the ones that will give you the best Return on Investment. But, by this I don’t necessarily mean the ones with the highest pay rate!
My suggestion is this…
1/ Focus on assignments where there will be other possible bookers in the room. Weddings are a great example of this. There are always other people there planning their own or helping someone who is. Certain types of Association Meetings are another example. You could have hundreds of people representing hundreds of companies in attendance.
2/ Focus on assignments where you might get booked longer than normal. If you normally do one- off Gala Dinners, try and focus on getting full day assignments. Then focus on Multi Day Assignments.
3/ Focus on people who have the ability to book you more than once. This may mean an annual event. Or it could mean multiple events each year. My favourite client books me 10 times a year for 2 day events. I’ve worked with them for 4 years. The pay isn’t as large as I get from some others but the ROI has been huge. My colleague Scott Williams here in Australia has just done an annual conference for one of his clients for the 14th time!
If you can subtly focus on these sorts of clients from the beginning it will save you from going back to square one with your client acquisition each time.
# Professional Contacts
Another strategy that I have used in the past is to put the word out to the professionals that you use on a regular basis. By this I mean – your Dentist, Accountant, Doctor, Lawyer, Mechanic, Stock Broker, Plumber, Hairdresser, Electrician, Builder etc.
Chances are if they are any good, then they probably belong to a professional association. Associations have meetings and events. These need MC’s. The fact that you have paid them for a number of years to provide their services to you gives you a small leverage advantage here. Most will happily provide a contact point, testimonial or advice on approaching their association. My dentist happily gave me the contact in his group and I secured a great assignment from it.
Don’t make a big demand out of it, just share your enthusiasm and see where it takes you. If you don’t feel like asking them directly or feel it’s inappropriate keep an eye out for Associations & Institutes etc listed in their office, on their business card, website etc. Often in a waiting room you’ll see Association and Institute newsletters.
Extract from The Expert MC Toolkit & Resource Manual. Full details HERE
BWC is an interactive routine suitable for MC’s in many performing situations.
Since we launched BWC a few weeks ago, I have had several questions.
How big is the prop?
What do I need to make it?
How hard is it to make?
This short video will answer those questions! Full information HERE
7 Essential Questions You Must ask Your Client before any MC Assignment
Hopefully with every MC assignment you do, you have time to ask these essential questions to your client before the event. This can be face to face or via a phone briefing. The earlier this is done the better as it allows you to prepare more comprehensively for the assignment and it allows the client to attend to things that they may have overlooked.
Remember, your job is to help the event run successfully. It’s not just your time “onstage,” you are now a vital part of the team. Your expertise, advice and tips are part of the package. Every time an event organiser or client says – “oh thank you, I hadn’t thought of that,” you know you are doing a great job.
This is not a complete list. Every assignment is a little bit different. Over time you will add your own questions and eliminate others, but it is a great starting point for your own question list. I always have a copy in a folder on my desk which I can grab for a phone chat and a copy in the folio I take to a briefing session.
Q & A. Questions & Answers.
Are Speakers expected to answer questions from the floor after their presentations? Do you have roving microphones for the questions? Is this Q&A part of their allocated time?
(Q&A is a vital component of interactivity and engagement at any event. Some speakers generate lot’s of questions. Some will only generate blank stares. Some speakers, like politicians, will try and avoid Q&A. Discus with your client what you are trying to achieve. Remember – The Professional MC’s Cheat Sheet, part of the Expert MC Toolkit & Resource Manual contains 20+ Questions you can ask any Speaker or Presenter)
Numbers. How many people are expected at the event?
(This may seem to be a simple question, but working to a crowd of 500 is very different to working to a crowd of 50! You need a different energy level, different content, perhaps a different outfit. The sooner you can start planning this the better. Also, visualising yourself in front of the appropriate number will help you get comfortable with the event and prepare you for successfully running it.)
Introductions / Bios
Will you be provided with Introductions or Bio’s of each speaker?
You will quickly learn that most professional speakers should provide an Introduction for you. If they do, use it as written.)
How scripted is your MC role going to be?
(Some clients will give you a complete script. Others will provide bullet points. Some will give you nothing. Bring this up early. It’s especially important for the Welcome. Are their any VIP’s / Sponsors that must be thanked?
(Sometimes a committee member or board member might speak at an event, but they don’t get a gift. Sometimes a sponsor might speak as part of their sponsorship package, they probably don’t get a gift. It’s important to know who’s getting gifts and who’s not as there might be an exact number of gifts to be given out.)
The Back Channel
Is there going to be an official Twitter hashtag for the event? Do they have their own conference app?
(If you are not up to speed on using Twitter at an event, then now is a good time to do it. More and more events have an official HashTag and encourage people to use it. There are plenty of tutorials online. You maybe expected to explain it to delegates and read out tweets during the event. Likewise, many events have their own apps that you will be expected to know your way around. The sooner you start playing with them the better.)
This is something that I normally cover when I get to the event, (refer to the “At The Event” module) but I like to bring it up at the briefing because it really shows you know what you are doing, are experienced and have their best interests at heart.
NOTE – The full comprehensive Checklist of 30 Briefing Questions is available as part of the Expert MC Toolkit & Resource Manual Bonus Modules – These Modules are the 7 Extra Chapters to the Toolkit that we are adding over the next 3 Months.
Check out the full list of Bonus Modules and of course the contents of the Toolkit & Resource Manual itself. FULL DETAILS HERE
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A short piece of Interactive fun that will grab the attention of any Audience
and get a Guaranteed Laugh!