« 10. How to be a brilliant wedding MC: Tips 6-10 »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. She is the author of "Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking" and is one of only 800 people in the world with the highest level of accreditation in the professional speaking industry - CSP - Certified Speaking Professional.

If you've been invited to be the master of ceremonies at a wedding you know it's an honour. It can also be daunting as it is an important role.

The MC introduces the bride's speechThe master of ceremonies can make or break the wedding reception, and you need to be able to engage your audience throughout even when problems arise or people drink too much.

There are a lot of emotions involved in weddings, and there is a distinct advantage if the wedding master of ceremonies has high levels of emotional intelligence so he or she can handle all the emotions really well.

To be successful you'll need your wits about you, lots of detailed preparation, and enough emotional intelligence to manage all the people involved, even in difficult circumstances.

However, once you know exactly what to do and how to do it, the role become much easier than it might have been.

There are many different tips and techniques to use and we cover these at length in our popular E-book, "The beginner's guide to being a brilliant master of ceremonies".

However, to get you started here are some tips for you on the master of ceremonies duties so you begin to understand what to do and what not to do.

This is the second in a two-part series on how to be a brilliant master of ceremonies at a wedding.

Want to engage your audience more easily and make your presentations more interesting? Book into our public speaking development package.

Emotional intelligence tip 6: Relax everyone

People can feel tense at a wedding and wedding reception, especially in the bridal party. Laughter relaxes people; it is an aid to emotional intelligence and the emotional management of all the people there.

Relax the wedding guests. Relax the bridal party. Relax the bride and groom.

You may for instance tell funny stories, or encourage others to do so, about the couple. This can keep a wedding light and enjoyable.

Do not make the stories too embarrassing though; the Master of Ceremonies is not there to humiliate anyone, even if the groom is your best mate!

Emotional intelligence tip 7: Help the guests feel comfortable

Help the guests feel comfortable and connected.

Ever felt lonely in a crowd? Loneliness is an uncomfortable emotion but it can easily be felt at a wedding reception.

One of the difficulties with wedding ceremonies and receptions is that the guests may not know each other.

One of your tasks as the Master or Mistress of Ceremonies is to help the guests feel comfortable and connected. Bring everyone together. Help everyone get to know each other.

This is particularly important if it is a cross-cultural or cross-religious wedding.

Featured Video

Watch our video for even more tips on how to be a great wedding master of ceremonies:

Emotional intelligence tip 8: Ensure everyone knows what is next

So often I have been to weddings, as a guest, and had no idea what is happening next, or where I am to go or what I am to do.

As the Wedding Master of Ceremony do not let this happen to your guests. Do not leave your guests standing around not knowing what to do next.

Tell them what is happening each step of the way. They will be grateful to you and it helps to keep everyone happy. Yes, emotional intelligence is important in handling the wedding guests too.

Emotional intelligence tip 9: Do not crack irrelevant jokes

Master of Ceremonies who are new to the role often make the mistake of thinking that they have to tell a whole series of jokes. There is no need to. There are other ways to produce humour.

If you do tell jokes make sure they do not offend anyone. Pick them very carefully indeed. Avoid risqué jokes and those with offensive language, in particular.

Yes, your emotional intelligence can even guide you in what jokes to pick.

Want to improve your confidence as a public speaker so your audience wants to listen to you? Book into our public speaking development package

Emotional intelligence tip 10: Be prepared for anything

When alcohol is present be prepared for anything.

Sadly, people who drink too much alcohol at wedding receptions can cause a nightmare for the Master or Mistress of Ceremony.

However, the Master of Ceremonies (usually along with the Best Man) is responsible for managing crowd behaviour. You become the unofficial bouncer.

My worst memory of a wedding reception was when a small number of guests, myself included, took to the dance floor. A man behind me was inebriated. He decided to come up close and starting shoving himself at me. It was disgusting and revolting. Fortunately, with very little fuss he was taken aside and encouraged to go home early.

It is your job as the Master of Ceremony to prevent such incidents from occurring, and if they do, to deal with them swiftly and discreetly so there is as little embarrassment for the bride and groom as possible.

The master of ceremony needs to have the couple and their happiness as the major focus, and to smoothly iron over any trouble spots so they don't become upset. 

Yes, emotional intelligence is important at a wedding reception!

How to improve your public speaking now.

Can you afford to have you or your team unable to engage their audiences? No! Organisations need to be represented by engaging speakers in order to get their message across as swiftly and effectively as possible. This applies to you if you are an executive or a manager too - do not bore your employees, your stakeholders or your board. We have a number of options to help you:

  1. Book into our public speaking development package.
  2. There is a definitive guide: "The beginners guide to being a brilliant MC".
  3. Read the book "Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking".

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.