An extraordinary emcee is part endurance athlete, listener, event planner, and gymnast. This is not
a gig for everyone. You need a highly specialized skill set, a bag chock-full of tricks,
and ninja-like moves to blend in and not
overpower the stage. There is no one better
to demonstrate this role than Jon Petz, CSP.
With his help, perhaps you’ll discover you
have the chops to do the same.
PET TIT T: How is being an emcee
different than being a DJ with a point?
PETZ: An emcee’s job is to build continuity
and consistency and to heighten the engagement, memorability, and impact for the
participant; and therefore, how they value
this industry trade show or conference.
You are the glue that binds each
piece of content together and
makes it seem to flow perfectly.
What that means to your client’s
bottom line is that participants
are more likely to return next
year and bring more co-workers
with them. You’re also increasing
the likelihood they’ll apply what
they’ve learned and expand their
networks of contacts.
Q: Bringing your ego onstage
can be the biggest mistake as
an emcee. What else do aspiring
emcees need to avoid?
A: There are so many di;erences
from being in the spotlight! One
of the most important elements
to remember is that the emcee
will become a “face” of the event,
spilling over before and after
stage time. How you help build
participants’ experience at that
conference at all times comes into
play in hallways, restaurants, lob-bies, elevators, parking garages,
and even the airport. Don’t think
you’re not “on” all the time.
Q: It sounds like you have a lot
of jobs. Anything else you’re
A: What if people go short? No show? Have an emergency? The lights go o;? Or maybe something less
urgent, like schedule changes. An emcee is on a sort of
standby-ready mode and intensely engaged in what is
happening on that stage at all times. ■
To read the full
interview and learn
more secrets to
being a successful
JON PETZ, CSP, is a keynote
speaker, conference emcee, author,
and world-class business magician.
Jon reveals the method, the mastery,
and the mystery of Peak Performance
in a real-time, live experience.
JESSICA PETTITT, CSP, has
stirred up conversations that matter
for the past 15 years on topics that
your grandmother recommended
avoiding. She also challenges
others to be Good Enough Now.
We go behind the scenes with
Jon Petz, CSP, to ask about the art of
working outside the spotlight
ABCs of Being
a Good Emcee
¢ AV skills
¢ Improv experience
¢ A bit of insanity
¢ Complete focus
on the audience