You can’t expect people to listen if they feel that you don’t care about them. You have to make them feel important. This applies to eMCeeing at a wedding more than anything else. One of the simplest tools to make people important is to learn their names.
It works wonders.
It’s obvious, right?
Why do I write about names?
In a western type of environment a small talk goes down like this:
Mark walks up to Tim:
– “Hey, I’m Mark”
– “I’m Tim, nice to meet you”
– “Nice to meet you too. So Tim, how did you like the shrimp as the starter?”
How does it go between to Hungarians?
John walks up to Paul:
– “Hey, I’m John”
– “I’m Paul, nice to meet you”
– “Nice to meet you too. So how did you like the shrimp as the starter?”
Can you spot the difference?
Yes… beyond the difference of the names!!! 🙂
I’ll give you some time…
Okay, the only difference was that in the Hungarian chat, John didn’t use Paul’s name as soon as he found a chance.
An opportunity lost
With this, they are missing a chance to learn the name of the other person. In fact, since there was only one time, the other person’s name was mentioned, the more they engage in the conversation without using names, the more they forget it.
Ever happened to you?
Have you ever wanted to ask your neighbor’s name, but living next door to him for the last 2 years made it awkward to ask? So now you try to find ways to talk to him without mentioning his name:
“Let’s have another bottle of beer, may we?” “Hungry, are we?”
Sounds awkward, right?
Now of course, in case of an eMCee of a wedding, nobody expects to learn 150 guests’ names. And yes, that is the reason why it is even more powerful to learn some.
My little trick
When guests arrive at the welcome reception, I, as the eMCee, try to introduce myself to as many of them as I can. Now, I’m very bad at remembering names, but as I pay attention to it, I am still able to end up with remembering at least 5 of the names.
Then we go on with the church ceremony and then comes the big group photoshoot.
You know, when everybody is thirsty and either way no one’s face would be seen on the pictures.
And here comes the trick.
“Everyone, please look into the camera and smile. John, even you back there. Tim, you too!”
Eyes brighten up, smile grow on faces, and from one moment to the next, from being “the guy, who gives orders”, I become “the guy, who knows my name”. From “That MC guy”, I become “Atis, the buddy”.
Plus at the end of the whole event at 1 am, just before leaving the place, I go up to almost every waiter and thank their work one by one. (In case I was satisfied with their work)
People truly appreciate if you pay attention to them.
What do you do in your field to express attention to the people around you?
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