By: Leah Charles-King
Last week our very own Cindy Humphrey hosted a wonderful charity event. We got to see what went on behind the scenes thanks to Cindy’s blog!
It very much compliments my “Live TV: Keep Going!” post, but I thought this may be the perfect time to offer some more tried and tested tips of when hosting live events.
Tip 1: Research the subject matter. Not only will you then be informed but you can passionately share the subject matter with your audience without having to read from notes wherever possible.
Tip 2: Be friendly behind the scenes. Politely and respectfully introduce yourself to the whole team from the Floor Manager to the Events Manager and everyone inbetween. Not only is it nice to make a lasting impression but you also never know who else you may meet which could lead on to more work.
Tip 3: Be prepared! We’ve written in other blogs on “The Power of Preparation” and I can’t stress this enough! Hosting live events are very different to a TV show because you are totally exposed before a live audience where you can instantly gage their reactions to you – good or bad! Get to know everything about the topic so you can talk for long amounts of time if you have to “fill” for whatever reason.
Tip 4: Rehearse! Live events can be manic behind the scenes and sometimes when you show up on the day, the team may have so much to remember that they may sit you in a corner upon arrival and forget about you for hours! It is really important you take time to rehearse. Politely remind them you really need to rehearse and whilst waiting familiarise yourself with the venue, the stage, your position – if you know it, and your script/notes. Don’t over rehearse either! This can be counter-productive and make you appear wooden rather than going with the flow of things.
Tip 5: Remain in control. As long as you know what’s supposed to be happening, if there’s drama going on behind the scenes, it’s your job to keep the audience protected from any mistakes as much as possible. If it becomes obvious to the audience you can make a joke and move on. If it’s not so obvious and the audience don’t need to know, then ignore completely and continue. Remember you are the Captain of the ship who’s job it is to make people feel safe and relaxed whilst in your presence. Hosting an event has very similar principles as when presenting live TV. Check out my blog post on this topic: “Live TV: Keep Going!”
Tip 6: Team work! On one occasion, I had no idea I was going to be hosting with another presenter until he arrived. Although I’d already mentally prepared myself for hosting alone, I always welcome a second presenter. Why? Because this way, you have someone to bounce off! It’s great thing sharing the spotlight too. Standing alone before a crowd can be intimidating even for a seasoned host, so to have an on-stage partner can be awesome. Work together during prep or rehearsals on your responsibilities as a duo and try to build up some trust even if you have a very short time. And although all this is said, always refer back to Tip 3!
Tip 7: Warm up! Do some mouth and vocal exercises. They only take around 5-10 minutes but can make a huge difference in your delivery. If you don’t know of any just research online or via YouTube tutorials. The Red carpet Academy will also be doing their own video tutorials very shortly, so stay tuned!
Tip 8: Eat! From me to you, please ensure you take time-out to eat before a show. I’m terrible at this myself but it’s really important for us to eat even a little something. Your adrenalin is about to go into overdrive and it can’t be controlled on an empty stomach. Without eating you can get dizzy and light-headed too. Let’s face it, no one wants to lose control, visibly shake or faint from hunger, so don’t do it to yourself! It’s not worth it. Also imagine how embarrassing it would be for your tummy to start rumbling loudly in any awkward silences!
Tip 9: Drink water! Again something I’m not always the best at, however especially when hosting an event it’s important to remain hydrated. I find it helps me if I physically carry a bottle around with me and then make a habit of taking sips throughout the day.
Tip 10: Take a time out! You can only imagine how crazy it can get behind the scenes at live events however, you need to remain focused and relaxed. Try and take at least 15 minutes alone for yourself somewhere. Whether you use this time to read, pray or power nap, do something which has no direct link to the event. Take some time out for your mind to gather it’s thoughts. Do some deep breathing exercises too as this will help to channel any nervous energy.
Let me know how these tips help you or if you have any before-show rituals! Tweet me. Until next time!