Just as I do not believe that sticking a camera in the back of a room makes a hybrid event, I do not believe that randomly jumping in front of the camera and talking to the virtual audience makes a virtual emcee.
Your virtual emcee becomes the eyes, the ears and the voice of your virtual audience, an audience they cannot see, yet that they must be able to “read” and anticipate their every move. It’s a very distinct person who has the skill set necessary to gain the trust of the virtual audience. It’s a position that should not be handed out casually.
Keep the following in mind when picking the perfect virtual emcee for your next virtual or hybrid event:
- Pick the right image. Your virtual emcee takes on the role of spokesperson of your company and of your event, so be sure that they are the best representation of your brand and that your virtual audience can identify with them.
- Pick the right personality. Your virtual audience must believe that the virtual emcee is “one of them,” so be sure to pick a person who walks the walk and talks the talk to ensure that there is a high level of trust and comfort.
- Pick someone who can think quickly on their feet. Your virtual audience is participating in a live broadcast of a live event, so be sure that your virtual emcee doesn’t get rattled if things don’t go according to plan and can adjust and accommodate immediately.
- Pick a naturally curious conversationalist. Your virtual emcee should never be fake or scripted, so be sure your person can always keep the conversation going, whether that is with the camera, some other technology or the person standing next to them.
- Pick a master multitasker. Your virtual audience will have many needs at many times, so be sure that your virtual emcee can handle questions, requests and information coming at him/her from multiple places and all at once.
- Pick a dedicated team player. Your virtual emcee is “always on” so be sure to pick the person who will make your virtual audience their No. 1 priority no matter what the stakes.
It is up to your virtual emcee to bring the event to life for your virtual audience, so they can feel like they are in the room. So as I always say, a virtual emcee is not like a newscaster or a game-show host. A virtual emcee is more like a combination of a talk-show host and a home-shopping host, plus so much more.