The onstage host -- the master of ceremonies -- is the public face of your TEDx event. Choose your onstage host carefully. He or she will be responsible for introducing all of your original content, keeping your program on schedule and representing the vision for your event.
Responsibilities of the onstage host
- Introductions: Providing short introductions to the live speakers, videos and other items on your program -- never longer than 30 seconds. (Tease, but don't reveal, what the speaker is going to say.)
- Time-keeping: Keeping the program on time by keeping speakers on track -- enforcing the clock strictly -- and encouraging quick transitions
- Troubleshooting: Responding quickly to technical difficulties, delays or changes in program; helping speakers quickly and painlessly resolve any technical glitches.
- Announcements: Announcing any changes to the program.
- Connections: Making connections between the onstage content and the event's theme; drawing connections that fuel conversation during the session breaks.
- Audience engagement: Encouraging the audience to engage with the speakers: applause, laughter, cheering, etc. A lively audience is not only more fun to speak to -- it also plays better in video recordings. Set up a positive feedback loop early on in your event. Your speakers and your attendees will thrive on it!
- Do not give detailed responses to talks. Let the audience come to their own conclusions, which may well be different than yours.
- Avoid self-congratulatory comments. From the curator's chair it may seem that all is going amazingly. But as an audience member, it's annoying to be told that, even if you agree -- and some may not!