Last week I hosted a huge event for The Mayor’s Annual Ball at the Town Hall. I was so looking forward to it.

The main objective of a host is to hold the night together, to do introductions and to have little fun. This is right up my street. Deliver all the needed information to the people in a fun and charismatic, professional manner.

So what makes a great host?

Can they Engage the audience? Can they ad-lib? Keep to time? Script Constraint and Creativity? Allow time for networking?

After years of performing as a singer all over the globe, from show to show, I understand all the behind the scenes and being at the front of house also. There is nothing worse than awkward gaps and lack of continuity thought the night. When a member of the audience or cast has left the stage there should always be something to take its place. Immediately. Either a piece of music or a person talking, singing, performing, just something.

There is nothing worse than somebody capturing everyone’s attention on stage and then that part finishes and the atmosphere is dead because there’s no continuity. Or an artist finishes their last song, they get a standing ovation and walk off stage themselves without a host to congratulate them on a great show and bring them back for a bow and thank you. Or when somebody gives a great speech and it finishes and they just walk off. People feel awkward the room feels awkward.

A good host should have the capability to talk to the crowd, think on their feet, speak from the soul, be a natural with the people. have the knowledge and experience to just pull something out of the bag, maybe a song, a one liner, interaction. What ever it may be, let it flow! The last thing the client wants is to be worried about the flow of the night. As music can make or break an evening, so can a good host.

Fortunately, I can’t actually recall how many times that I’ve seen a bad host but I can recall lots of times that I’ve seen good hosts, and they stick in your mind!