There is a lot that goes into a host being able to connect with their audience. From being able to effectively read a crowd and tell the right joke or story, to understanding the demographic of your audience and knowing when to pull the plug on a game or activity that isn’t connecting, being a host or emcee takes work, calculated preparation, and a lot of people skills.

That’s why we remind our hosts all the time…

Who you are off the mic is more important than who you are on the mic.

Here at Elevate, we have a principle we teach our hosts around this idea. It’s a tried and true practice that helps our hosts create memorable moments and meaningful engagement with the guests at any particular event or activation.

We call it the ’25 ft. Rule’ and it’s a key ingredient in our on-stage recipe.

Here’s how it works:

1) Locate the central point from which you’ll be addressing your audience. This may or may not be on a stage or platform. It could be in the middle of tables during a dinner, or on top of a box or speaker at a race or fun activation. Wherever it is, find it and make sure you own it with confidence.

2) Get to know people that are within 25 feet of your central point of presentation. Maybe even shake their hands before and/or during the event. Learn their names or something interesting about them. And when you have downtime during preparation or if the event is up-and-down from the platform, make sure you put your microphone away and get to know the people who are closest to your point of presentation. When you do this, you are building trust with them. And with that trust comes a greater likelihood they’ll involve themselves in what you’re saying or leading.

3) Look those closest to you in the eye while you host. Make sure you make them feel as if they are the most important people at that event.

4) Remember something about the people you met. Furthermore, when (and if) the timing is right, highlight what you learned about the guests you met and involve them into what you’re leading.

The ’25 ft. Rule’ helps our team connect with the guests at the events we lead. What are some of the tricks you use? Share in the comments below!