MC Mastery – Understanding People


By Johnny Kelly, “MC Mastery”

Our success is determined by how well we understand people. The better we understand them, the easier it becomes to perform for them. It all comes down to how fast you can analyze people. More importantly, how accurate you are.

Over the last 20 years, I have assembled a list of seven areas that have helped me to understand people on a physiological level as well as a sociological level. I use these every time I perform, and they have been responsible for every successful party I have done. The parties I have failed at were because I did not understand the people.

These seven areas are simply a starting point. Your in depth understanding each of these will be the key to your success.

1.) Age – understanding the age of the individual will guide you in what to play and how you communicate with them.

2.) Nationality – What their heritage is will help understand their culture. Their culture will indicate music taste, humor, timing.

3.) Religion – Informs you of specific religious rules and guidelines to follow.

4.) Occupation – The occupation will indicate personality style. This is not an exact science however; it will give you a starting point when trying to figure their involvement level. A surgeon is not likely to belly slide upon request.

5.) Origin – Where they are from also informs you of cultural likes and dislikes. Similar to nationality, but varies greatly. Both are equally as important.

6.) Gender – Males and females respond differently to so many subjects. It is critical to understand the emotions of each and how to communicate with them effectively. How a man receives information will be different from a woman. It all comes down to your delivery when it comes to gender.

7.) Emotional Status – You must understand how they are feeling before you begin. If they are in a bad mood because of poor weather, you will have to convert that emotion before you can continue.

Here are two scenarios. Use the seven areas/characteristics to determine your game plan:

It’s Saturday afternoon, and you are performing for a group of nuns. You were hired to play some background music for lunch. Your client informs you; the ladies may not dance, but she can’t be sure. Do you assume because they are nuns, they won’t have fun?

Saturday night you have a law firm holiday party. Do you plan on a boring party because they are lawyers? Or, do you wait to meet the group and develop your plan from there?

Now apply the seven characteristics to each of these scenarios:

Nuns – Ya they are nuns but, they are women. Women are amazing. You play the right song, and you will get 80% of them to the floor. Just because they are nuns, does not mean they can’t have fun.

Lawyers – Yes the occupation is generally picked by the personality however, that stereotype has been broken time and time again. I have had lawyers do belly slides, dive off tables and even get thrown out of parties. They may be lawyers, but they are also people.

By understanding the seven areas mentioned above, you can predict the reaction. If you are able to predict the reaction, you can implement moments you will already know the outcome. The better you get at predicting reaction, the more money will make.

Remember, you are paid based on what you’re worth. Not a penny more, not a penny less.

If you would like to contact me regarding this topic, please message me on


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