Also known as a master of ceremonies, MC, or emcee, the master of ceremony is an individual who functions as the facilitator and host of an event. Generally, he or she will perform several functions, with some related to interacting with guests and others associated with others working behind the scenes. In general, an effective emcee exhibits a warm and inviting personality, is articulate, and has the ability to relate and work well with people.
A wedding master of ceremony is in many aspects similar to that of a wedding planner. This individual often works behind the scenes to queue the wedding party participants and officiating officers into position, coordinate the music, and in general, make sure the actual ceremony progresses according to plan. At the reception, he or she may also coordinate such traditions as the dance of the bride with her father, the first dance by the newly married couple, the formation of the reception line, and even introducing any entertainment offered at the event.
With weddings, banquets, and awards shows, this individual is often called on to offer a speech of some sort. The speech may have to do with the purpose for the gathering, or be devoted to sharing important information about an honoree who is the focus of the event. In general, the speech is usually focused, to the point, and kept short. This helps to keep the event moving forward and minimizes the chances of the audience or participants growing bored with the proceedings.
Not everyone is capable of being an effective master of ceremony. Since much of the work involves conveying information to other people, this person must be articulate in both the choice and pronunciation of words. The successful emcee will also have a warm and accessible personality, making it easier to connect with everyone in attendance at the event. He or she must also have excellent organization skills and a well-defined sense of timing, since those attributes make a huge difference in how much attendees enjoy the gathering.