MC Mastery: Understanding Emotion

Johnny Kelly Performs at DJ Times Expo

By Johnny Kelly, “MC Mastery”

Over the past 20 years, I have emceed just about every type of event for pretty much every type of person possible.  No matter what the event type or the people in attendance, I have learned that being a Master MC comes down to mastering 3 things:

1.) The ability to observe.
2.) The ability to understand your observations.
3.) The ability to develop and execute a plan of action instantly.

Observe:  Observation is essential to understanding where to begin. You must be able to observe everything and I mean everything in order to collect the right information.  I am not only talking about looking around the room to gather age demographic information.  I am talking about looking for the finer details like how they are dressed.  The perfume that the mother of the bride is wearing.  The type of drink the CEO has in her hand.  I pay attention to things like facial expressions, body language, room temperature, room odor, emotions, demeanor and anything else that can influence the outcome of the event.  These details will give you clues that you can use during the party and the more information you can gather, the more opportunities you will have as the party continues.

Analyze:  Once you gather the information you need, you must analyze it to determine where to begin.  I will note that it is imperative you understand people in order to analyze properly.  What understanding people means is how people act alone and how they act in a group.  The type of people, how old they are, where they are from, what they do for a living and most importantly, how they are feeling at this particular point and time.  Just because you see someone getting a little wild in a private circle of friends, does not mean they will do the same in the middle of the dance floor.  You want to make the right assessment before you do anything.

Example: Let’s imagine you observe the bride’s uncle “Gettin Jiggy With It” off to the side with a couple friends.  Your initial impression may be to utilize him for a “Dance Solo” later.  However, you may have analyzed incorrectly and the “Dance Solo” may be extremely embarrassing to him.  Embarrassment is detrimental to your success and can cause you to lose the entire group.  But, if you are correct, the “Dance Solo” can be one of the best moments of the event.  You must make sure he is the right candidate before you initiate the moment.  If he is the “Dance Solo” type, he will reveal this during the event and it will be a sweet moment for everyone.

Create The Plan:  Now that you have observed and analyzed every detail, you can begin to develop your plan for the rest of the event.  The music you play, the people you incorporate and just about everything you do from here will be because of your observation and analysis.  You are now ready to begin the process of producing an event of a lifetime for your client and ultimately adding another successful event to your resume.

Final Note:  Our entire career revolves around “People.”  Understanding how people react to whatever they see and feel will determine how successful you are.  Once you understand people and emotions you can then predict the reaction.  Predicting reaction has been the key to my success and it all came from understanding people and emotions.

Reading this article is a guide to what you will need to know to reach the highest levels possible.  It takes putting this knowledge into action to make the difference.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, please contact me through facebook @


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