Congratulations. You have taken two of the most important steps of your journey. The first thing you have done is, you decided on what you want. Taking the initial step of decision as to what you want to become is hard. Many people struggle to make the decision, because the mind is filled with so many doubts. You find yourself doubting whether the industry has room for you, doubting whether you will be any good and doubting whether you have what it takes to make it in an already saturated industry. The second thing you have done is taken the step towards learning. There’s nothing more self-depreciating then an unteachable mind. We as human beings are designed to learn, we are designed to continue to grow based off what we learn, both in being and in character. Taking the step towards opting to learn a trade or a skill is done in action. Actively searching out the lessons and taking bold steps towards acquiring the material and access to mentors and teachers. Lucky for you, we live in a digital era, and access to information and teaching material is incredibly simplified, with platforms like YouTube, the time to learn new skills has never been better.
Firstly, allow me to put a disclaimer in that I do not know all the tricks and ropes to ascertain a brand in the speaking and entertainment industry. However, I have walked the journey and continue to push boundaries and perhaps these simple 5 steps may assist you in getting started. Namibia is a country with a vast amount of talent and there is room for everyone, we do ourselves no favors in holding back knowledge. Talent deserves recognition, but your hard work will help you make your mark and carve out your niche and space.
The following steps are both simple and practical. They are easy to follow and easy to implement. It does not require much financing, except a dedication to what your goal is. If you do not have a goal, set one. It will help you navigate the entertainment space, because you can easily get lost in it.
5 Steps to becoming a Namibian Master of Ceremonies:
- Hone your craft
In order for you to place yourself in a position to get gigs, you have to ensure you are good at what you do. Practice makes perfect is the most cliché saying in the world, yet the most truthful. Get your foot in the door. Volunteer to do gigs for free so you can learn how to navigate your way on stage. Spend time watching YouTube videos of personalities that do what you’d like to do. Establish a style of presenting and hone it. In as silly as it seems to stand in front of a mirror and practice, do it. You can never be over prepared. You can never be overdressed. Treat every single gig as an audition for your ultimate goal. Treat nothing and no platform as though it is meager, because people see you everywhere you go, and they remember. Give them something to remember. Insist on getting the program before the event, get the biographies of speakers and show up on time for sound check. Over deliver, always.
- Attend auditions
I know there is a misconstrued misconception that auditions are a waste of time in Namibia. It is believed that the casting team already knows who they want to have as an MC. However, the casting team only wants the best person for the job. They are open to new talent and you must ensure that you come to impress. You get one chance to make an impression, use it wisely. Every audition will not be the same, however, they usually give you scenarios that relate to what you are auditioning for, be prepared. Do not go to an audition without preparing the night before. Do a mock of hosting whatever you are auditioning for. It is embarrassing when you are not able to say the name of what you are auditioning for without stumbling. Whatever you do, push through, even when you stumble, do not stop. Finish what you started and try not have to start over.
- Build your portfolio
When clients approach you, you need to have a set portfolio. It in essence is like a CV, but centered around who you are as an MC. Ensure it has quality imaging, and have some visuals of you on stage. Use your portfolio to impress the client, because your portfolio will introduce you to the client. Spend time building your portfolio by taking gigs in the beginning of your career for FREE. I know it is terrible, and really this part is by choice, but people need to know you have experience in this sphere to trust you can deliver.
- Build your public profile
This is important. In the era of influencing, companies are very picky about who to associate their business with. They will look on your social media pages to establish who you are and whether you are fitted. It is important to ensure you show what you do and guard against warding off companies with offensive content or content that paints you in the opposite light of what companies you are trying to attract. I guarantee you a 160%, clients will pull out your social media pages before deciding to work with you. Have it reflect the clientele you look to attract.
- Carve out your target market
Decide what type of clientele you want to work with and tailor yourself to suit. This is important, specially given the content you put out and the type of gigs you accept. You cannot rally poverty eradication the one day and then endorse a liquor store the next day, knowing that poverty and alcohol abuse are intrinsically connected. You cannot rally for women empowerment the one day and be seen on a misogynistic poster the next day. There has to be uniformity in the market you are targeting. They can be different, just not opposing.
These, I think, are the simplest steps one can take. I have gotten a few questions about how to enter the radio industry. However, much of becoming an MC is interconnected with getting into the radio industry. You just need to apply it in a manner that is suited to what you are trying to do. However, fundamental and first and foremost, is learn your craft. You have to work to becoming eloquent.
Thank you for reading.
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