The MC is the person on stage who is in charge of:
ensuring smooth transitions between sessions (and tracks) and talking to the audience (lightening the mood if necessary :)) Smart jokes are welcome!
introducing new speakers on stage
Checking with the stage manager that everything is in order: speakers are there, microphones, slides, timers etc.
Playing the time-keeper to make sure sessions end on time. This is critical since your schedule is tight and we must be right on time.
If you think a session needs one or two minutes more, you are also in charge of coordinating this with the stage manager and tech team.
Since all the sessions will be live-streamed, this is a role that receives a lot of visibility. It requires ease in speaking English on stage, reacting spontaneously to unplanned things that may happen in the audience and knowing enough about the subjects that will be treated.
Therefore it requires some preparation.
Preparation advice for MCs:
Prepare introductions of each speaker beforehand (use flash cards if necessary) - NB: you will need to make introductions to all speakers who give talks, and all moderators of panels (as well as a brief line about what they will talk about in talks and panels) but the moderator is responsible for introducing the speakers in their panel.
Make sure your introductions are not too long, but give enough context about the next session for a smooth transition. Most transitions should fit in a minute or minute and a half.
If you don’t know much about it yet, inform yourself a little on the topic
Be observant of what is happening in the room, for instance whether something is wrong or a speaker is missing => your presence and attention during the whole time of the sessions where you are MC is required
Remember the rules of collective intelligence! Listen with attention, Speak with intention, Be benevolent, Show trust, respect the framework. Make sure that everyone is included, or has the chance to be included in the conversation!
Depending on how you feel the atmosphere in the room, you can also propose the attendees to take three deep breath before starting to listen (great for focus!) / within 2 sessions, or on one minute stretching before / after a session!
The program coordinator will contact you before hand to discuss with you the detailed list of sessions during your MC slot and how many speakers will be on stage at which given time during your MCing slot.
Please arrive 30 min before your MCing begins, and make sure to check if everything is in order: Are the speakers there? Are the slides there and working? In case a speaker is missing, contact the speakers manager with the walkie-talkie on stage, giving the name of the speaker who is missing, so the speakers manager can find the missing speaker.
NB: You will be sharing your microphone with the moderators!