Many of us at Village Players are also involved in other organizations at schools, clubs, or church. As “actors” we may be called upon to take the podium and host an important event. However, although improvisation is an important skill for a performer, being prepared and well-rehearsed in advance makes for a much smoother performance.
Three tips to consider for better hosting:
1. Script It and Practice It. Read the script out loud. With a few practice sessions, you will no longer appear to be reading your notes, but rather using them to simply stay on schedule. Create an outline of the points that need to be covered. Speak clearly, somewhat slower than normal conversation, and look up from the script from time to time to make eye contact with your audience. If you will be introducing people, review their names in advance. If necessary, spell them out phonetically (fo-net- ick-lee) in your script to make pronunciation easier.
2. Relax and Enjoy It! Remember to relax; the focus is not truly on you. Your job is to make things go smoothly and to put the audience at ease. So smile, take a breath, sip some water, and enjoy your time at the podium. Body language is important. Stand comfortably and space your feet shoulder width apart. Rest your hands comfortable at your side or on the podium out of sight of the audience. You can use one hand to “track” your way through the script, and turn the pages. Try not to “grip” the sides of the podium, showing the whites of your knuckles.
Whatever you do, don’t apologize for your presentation before it begins. No matter what happens, just roll with it and show some humor if things don’t work exactly as planned. Everything you can do to put your audience at ease will make the event more successful for you and your organization.
3. Manage the Microphone/PA. You should be able to hear yourself in the public address (PA) system and can adjust your volume by moving closer or further away from the microphone.