Ya’ll know I’m from Texas and Alabama so you know I’ll be a straight shooter to the point. Last week I had the HONOR to be the emcee of the South’s best social media for business meeting “Socal Slam” in Knoxville (#soslam). It was the best, biggest and most friendly of all audiences since inception three years ago.
Without further stuff you don’t care about, here are the takeaways for being a GOOD (Great) Emcee:
1. Practice, prepare, know your speakers and their bios: I researched each one and sent an advance email to ask for personal tidbits so I could add to the introductions of each speaker.
2. Get up early and meet the AV folks, the volunteers, the morning shift: As emcee, I knew I had to be there early to meet all the folks that run the event. I knew where the microphones were, the lights were and I knew the guys who pulled the trigger. You must get there an hour BEFORE it starts. (The cream was I got to have breakfast with Rebecca Schaefer and she is the best).
3. Plan your wardrobe in advance: You’ll be on stage all day, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes!
4. Make sure the event venue has all energy ready at the start: These guys were good as they were there and at their posts by early morning.
5. Keep it classy: So many conferences have problems with keeping comments classy and professional. It’s your job as emcee to insure that happens. If you see tweets going south, flip that. Call that out and stop it.
6. You have the voice: As emcee, you have the voice to stop negative, promote positive and add to the conversation. Successful emcees can shift to get this on track.
7. When you are emcee of a social media conference, you must monitor and engage IN REAL TIME. When the conversation isn’t resonating with the audience, the Twitter stream (in this case it was #SoSlam) will tell you. You as the emcee must get it back on track! The sentiment is there in real time and a good emcee will monitor that.
8. Focus on Positive: Highlight the cheerleader of the week! Encourage each one to greatness.
9. Run to your passion: Embrace it! If you are not comfortable in the spotlight, it will show. A good emcee will connect with the audience and his/her passion and energy will be contagious.
10: Entertain and have fun with the audience: A good emcee knows how to keep the day moving and have a bit of fun at the same time. In my case, I took some Memphis to Knoxville and gave away “Memphis Swag” to people tweeting positive comments about our speakers and their content. It was a fun way to add a little spontaneous fun and engage with the audience.
Thank you to all old friends and new who supported, planned, spoke at and attended SoSlam 2013. To name a few, in no particular order: @markwschaefer, @pmswish, @GabrielleNYC, @jfloyd, @kimgarst, @seanmcginnis, @JonFMoss, @ginidietrich, @shanerhyne, @alysdrake, @ChrisQueso, @AnneDGallaher, @xanpearson, @RyanSauers, @KevinLyons, @SMCKnox, @billymitchell1@NicoleCDenton, @dbvickery, @JenKaneCo, @kfreberg, @dinodogan, @rdublife, @shonali, @ducttape, @jeffbullas, @iancleary, @lauraclick, @dawndevirgilio, @EquineValentina, @jasonfalls, @johnmorgan, @rhogroupee, @kerrygorgone, @ericpratum, @techguerilla, @ginawelker, @sandraz, @thinkpyxl, @bushsbeans, @mltcreative, @wbir, @mantispulse, @ben_gallaher, @soulati, @k_chamber, @jasonkonopinski, @alanbr82, @LizReusswig, @kayemvy, @billymitchell1 @JudyBellem, @webby2001, @tamadear and many, many more!
Scroll through some of our favorite SoSlam photos below!
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