a new kind of emceE
Breaking down barriers between the artist and the audience
I believe that emceeing is less about filling up space with banter and more about listening and attuning to the energy levels of the audience.
A good emcee understands the energetic arc of an event and knows when people are intellectually at capacity and would be best served by a little humor, a song, some breath, body movement, or a dose of interpersonal interaction with other guests.
Creating a Field of Receptivity
I call it “creating a field of receptivity” because there is an art to supporting an audience in getting the most they possibly can out of an event. Everything from idea and playful ways they can interact with each other in between sessions (especially the introverts) to leading guided visualizations and meditations in between talks to help people enter deeper state of connection with the material being presented. Many conferences, summits and convergences are great at stimulating the mind, but we learn better when we are engaged physically, emotionally and socially as well.
A Song in Her Pocket
At key punctuation points, I like to bring interactive experiences, exercises or songs to the audience to support with integrating the material. This deepens the intimacy of the attendees which supports in retention and loyalty for future events and aligns to that timeless notion (attributed to multiple wisdom keepers) that people won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.
Now, let’s get really real. Even at the most organized events, things can go wrong last minute. At the risk of tooting my own horn, one of my areas of expertise is how to act “on the fly”. This is key as an emcee; to serve as a binding agent, supporting with moments of integration and offering wisdom or perspective at key points in the event, to be a familiar friendly face for the audience to “come home” to, and to hold the space of safety, humor and trust even in moments of chaos, awkwardness or discomfort.
This is a little nugget that came through when facilitating for the first New Frontiers event. Their scheduled emcee couldn’t make it, and they asked me to stand in. I didn’t know all the professional accolades of the speakers so I had to go from a more heart-felt, experiential, intuitive place…and there it was. The birth of the “Soul Bio”. Ideal for VIP speakers, keynotes, artists and presenters who you are wanting to feature, the Soul Bio offers a heart-centered, engaging intro that inspires a feeling of intimacy and connection between the audience and the speaker rather than regurgitating their linked-in profile!
Photographs by the illustrious Pete Longworth