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Top 10 Tips To Be a Better MC

Joe Bunn - The Dj Vault
 January 05, 2022
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I meet (and sometimes hire) a lot of aspiring DJs. Most of the time, the guys that I hire are already a DJ in some capacity whether it be at weddings, at a skating rink, or in a nightclub. The skill that they most lack when joining our company is being a good MC. These are some tips that I share with them (and now with you) to become better at the microphone. Here are my Top 10 tips for being a better MC (in no particular order):
10) Shut up. Know when to say something on the mic, and know when it’s time to be quiet.
9) You’re not a radio DJ. Mobile DJs are just that, they are paid to come to a gig, set up, play music and make people dance. You are NOT a radio DJ. You don’t need to introduce a song, tell who it’s by and what year it came out. People don’t care! They just want to dance!
8) It’s not your party! Yes, we all have egos and want to be recognized for our outstanding skills. However, the event that you were hired for and PAID for, is not your personal party. You don’t need to be the centre of attention all the time, even if you are an interactive type DJ.
7) Help others. So by now, you might be a professional MC, but guess what? The other 99.9% of the population is terrified of that microphone. When folks come up to give a welcome, blessing or toast, help them out. It’s always a good bet to whisper something like, “Hold the mic right up to your mouth” as you pass it to them. They’ll appreciate that. One of my DJ buddies told me he says to them, “Eat the mic”. I kind of like that one as well.
6) Keep it classy. As much as you want to say something risqué during the garter removal, DON’T. You aren’t nearly as funny as you think you are, and you definitely aren’t Chris Rock. There are more than likely children there or even adults that would be offended. Just let the bride and groom have their fun and be quiet (see Tip #10 again).
5) Keep it moving. About once a day, I get asked the question, “What is your style?”. I always answer that our DJs are “Classy but fun” and then proceed to tell them about our style of MCing because I can tell that is really what they are getting at. I describe it as “directing traffic”. In other words, we are there to make sure that there are no awkward moments between events and the party flows all night long. We do the introductions of course and get people excited, but we also keep the guests informed with announcements such as “Folks, make sure you have a glass of champagne in your hand because our best man Bob is about to do his speech.” Little things like this keep people on their toes, prevents guests from looking at their watch and pondering if they want to leave, it also gives Bob a heads up and also the photographers and videographers that you are working with.
4) Be Yourself. I used to have a couple of guys that worked for me that were totally different in real life vs. on the mic.  They had completely normal voices in conversation, but when you handed them a microphone they transformed into “Mr Top 40 Radio” and “Mr Strip Club DJ”. Those types of voices are good for those scenarios, but not at our events! Nobody talks like that in real life!
3) Conversate. I don’t even think that’s a word, but what I mean is there is no need to yell at the party guests and be so over the top. Use a voice, tone and style that is more conversational. You’ll be amazed at how much better they will listen and respond when you talk TO them vs. AT them. Here is an example, “Llllllladiesss annddddd Gentlemennnnn, direct your attention to the main doors for the formal introductions” or “Hey folks, in a couple of minutes Cindy and Craig are coming through the doors at the top of the stairs to my right and I want you guys to go nuts!” Try it, it works.
2) Crutches. Be careful of overusing certain words and phrases. A lot of DJs are really fond of the terms “Ladies and Gentlemen” or “Let’s give a round of applause”. I’m just as guilty at times but try to mix it up. A good way to check yourself is to record yourself and go back and listen the next day. Be critical of yourself! At the next gig, try to mix it up a little with different phrases like “Put your hands together”, “Show them some love!” or whatever feels natural.
1) Think! I have seen some DJs in wedding videos that have literally made me cover my face and cry. There are some really horrible DJs and MCs out there that have no business doing once in a lifetime events (stick to your mom’s basement). Before you say ANYTHING on the mic, stop for a few seconds, think about what you are going to say, rehearse it once or twice in your brain, process it, and then go live. I’ve seen DJs say the most idiotic, inappropriate, insane nonsense on the microphone just because they flipped the switch and had diarrhea of the mouth. Stop and think before you speak!

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Joe Bunn - The Dj Vault

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