Saturday, December 13, 2008
REally! That was what happened during my first speech on stage!
Eventually I did get better bit by bit but still I find it hard to maintain eye contact with the audience... looking at them my neck automatically jerks downward causing me to stare at the script and thus robotically reading from it...
I'm made little progress thus far but after going for a session by Jackson Ng,
entitled "Speaking with impact", I remember his first lesson well- NEVER say no to opportunities to be on stage.
That's why I accepted the offer to be the MC for the symposium today!
In my opinion, there are two kinds of MCs...
MCs for informal occasions- weddings etc
MCs for Formal occasions- like today- involving lecturers and doctors from the Malaysian Medical Council and Ministry of Health Malaysia
And hopefully I didn't menjatuhkan air muka UKM today!
Things I learnt include
The main thing about being an MC, is being prepared but to appear seemingly unprepared.
Also, you need to be on your feet noticing every little change in mood and be prepared for all sorts of emergency conditions.
prepare some banter speech to suit the occasion, however its pretty hard to prepare this before hand as the content must be sourced from the events unfolding on the day itself.
1. Get to know your audience, know their sense of humour generally
2. Know your guests of honour and get their salutations right and try to memorise it
3. Find someone in the audience that you know so that whenever you're nervous and don't know where to look to you can stare at this person for as long as you need to regain your composure.
4. Try not to be too dependent on your script. (Which I failed to do)
5. Always be alert of what is happening on stage and off stage
6. Have other members of the committee (usually from the protocol) to look out for you for any untoward changes
7. Keep yourself hydrated
8. Learn the right way to use the microphone- there is an optimum distance where your breaths won't be audible yet your decibels are not lost. Ask your friend to listen far away beforehand and to give suitable... 'feedback'. (pun intended)
9. Try to keep your words bite-sized, syllable per syllable as it aids clarity. Not to make it into Bahasa Baku tho!
10. Use terms and phrases or quotes that your audience can relate to, or else your comments will be greeted by drops of sweat and a crow flying past...
On banter speech, one that I came up with today after both parliamentary debate sessions where both 'prime ministers' are ladies was this
PPJ for partner poh jeann
KY for me
PPJ :" Hey KY, did you notice who were the elected prime ministers in both debates just now?"
KY :" hmmmm.... not really... why?
PJ :" recently we had just witnessed the election of the 1st black president in america, Obama and today we have not one but two female prime ministers, Miss Amirtha and Miss Wu! Do you think we will have a female Prime minister in Malaysia?
KY :" Oh... wait... are you trying to start a debate with me on whether females are equally capable as their male counterparts in leading the country?
PJ :" Seniors, what do you think?"
KY :" nevermind nevermind, we shall pass all the controversy and headache to the juries for they are the ones who must select the best debating team"
So I think managed to tie together a recent international event, parliamentary debate, what just transpired around us and threw a question at the audience to try to illicit audience participation... an important part of being a good emcee.
Well, the execution wasn't that well, judging from the lukewarm response but I'm glad that at least I attempted it and learned from it.
all in all, our effort was appreciated by our attending lecturer Prof Har and that felt great!
Here I would like to extend my thanks to abang Shukri, kak azuwa and the many many seniors who guided us. We were like the only chinese in the organizing commitee apart from Joanne senior. Hence my title today in 3 languages!
Other perks of being an MC today include knowing rather generally how a uber-formal event is being organized,
getting to know many new friends,
Getting to tinker with high tech gadgets! One of my favourite past-times is figuring out how they work!
This mike is a digital mike where you can alter its frequency ! COOL!
And I managed to practise my drawing too! compare these two with the two photos I took. I was drawing on the spot so met a little difficulty with the very actively moving participants!
(OKOK my drawing sucks! I know but I'll improve on it de!)
and getting to play "big brother"
This is one pretty old but still mighty high tech gadgetry
Shown in the video I zoomed out, Zoomed in, Panned the camera, adjusted the focus and later set it on auto mode where it scanned the entire auditorium!-last part not seen in vid-
Not forgetting enjoying the seniors doing our favourite component of PPD- roleplay!
Of course we learnt a lot from the debate and forum sessions too!
All in all its a worthy experience!
As I couldn't find much information online on being an emcee- most online info was related to being a wedding MC, quite a different job description if you ask me- I decided to write this out as a rough advice... hope it helps!
Cheerios! Thanks to Poh Jeann for accomodating this gila gila co-MC (=^.^=)