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Hiring the right emcee for your corporate or fundraising event is crucial to the event’s success. The emcee, or Master of Ceremonies, is not only responsible for hosting various activities and keeping track of the schedule, but he or she also helps keep the audience engaged and energized throughout the event. In addition, an emcee represents your company’s or organization’s general personality and attitude—or at the very least, the type of tone you want to set at your event.

For these reasons, it is important to be selective when it comes to choosing your Master of Ceremonies. However, it isn’t always easy to know where to look to find the perfect host for your gathering. For example, a friend or employee with a big personality might be able to connect with your audience, but may lack experience with public speaking or event coordination. On the other hand, it can be difficult to find a professional with the right attitude or speaking style for your event.

If you feel stuck or unsure where to start looking for a Master of Ceremonies or host for your next event, here are five tips to make the search easier.

  1. Consider your audience demographics. If you want to hire an emcee who will really connect with your audience, you want to look for someone who can relate to them in terms of background and experience. As you review candidates, examine your internal bias and make sure your own assumptions and preferences are not getting in the way of what will resonate most with your audience.
  2. Find examples online.
    It is hard to get a sense of someone’s speaking style without seeing them in person. When researching emcees, see if you can find video clips online of their previous speeches or presentations. If you are considering someone but can’t find examples of their work online, contact them and ask if they have an unlisted clip they can share with you to aid you in your decision process.
  3. Ask for recommendations. If you are finding yourself struggling to find an emcee or are unsure of where to start, reach out to friends and colleagues for advice and recommendations. Other individuals in your industry may have worked with a speaker in the past whom they can refer to you. For smaller events, you can also ask your more outgoing friends if they would be willing to emcee for you.
  4. Listen to podcasts and TED Talks. Online content sources like podcasts and TED Talks can be a great place to find event hosts. Find someone who motivates and inspires you and reach out to them—even if they do not bill themselves specifically as an emcee. Don’t be afraid to consider a speaker with a background that is outside your direct industry.

Search online speaker platforms. There are online platforms that list and feature speakers and emcees for hire. For example, Athlete on Demand connects companies and organizations with speakers who are current or former professional athletes. You can filter your search on the Athlete on Demand website to find the perfect speaker or emcee for your next event.