How to Be a Mistress of Ceremony

Written by karenna cochrane
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How to Be a Mistress of Ceremony
A Mistress of Ceremonies might provide lighthearted commentary or take a more serious tone. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A Mistress of Ceremonies presides over a special event such as a fundraiser, charitable dinner, corporate function or wedding. As depicted by the feminine nature of the title, this is a role for a woman; a man would be known as the Master of Ceremonies. A Mistress of Ceremonies sets the tone for the event by leading guests through the agenda with jokes, toasts and announcements. The first known Mistress of Ceremonies was in 1952.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Background information on the event
  • Speaking notes
  • Pen or pencil
  • Glass of water

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  1. 1

    Read the background information on the special event and the host organisation. Meet with the event organisers and ask what the desired tone of the evening is. Read through the speaking notes for the evening with the event organisers. (All of this should happen well in advance of the special event.)

  2. 2

    Read through the event notes on your own. Take notes on areas where you can ad-lib or personalise the script. Give a trial run of the Mistress of Ceremony duties for family and friends; do this at the event site or even in your home or office.

  3. 3

    Dress up as appropriate for the event, formal for a ball or other higher-end event, less formal for casual bar-be-que style event. Set up your glass of water and speaking notes on the podium. Spend a few minutes by yourself before opening the event.

  4. 4

    Enter the stage and welcome the guests. Relax and enjoy your Mistress of Ceremony duties. Use your speaking skills to set the expected tone.

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