It is Important to Understand the Audience and Mould Yourself Accordingly: Aakarshak Mishra
by EVENTFAQS Bureau Entertainment | April 16, 2018 | Promo Feature
A professional Master of Ceremonies, Aakarshak Mishra has over a decade of experience in the field of entertainment. In addition, he is also a Voice Over Artist for a number of Corporate AVs and Radio & Television Advertisements. In an exclusive with EVENTFAQS, Aakarshak Mishra reveals what makes one of the top corporate emcees in the industry.
Take us through some of the most interesting corporate events you've enjoyed being a part of...
Every corporate event is interesting, and if not, it is the emcee's job to make it one. The event could be about the achievements, the drawbacks, about growth strategy, or even about being cost-effective - so in a way, every corporate event comes with a challenge, a challenge to make sure that the motive of the conference is understood by the audience. This is what makes it interesting.
The audience too differs as the audience comprises of everyone right from the VPs, CEOs, CFOs, to the Sales Executives. This variety and the need to please everyone also adds to the challenge and makes it more interesting.
If I were to talk about some interesting shows, the first to come to my mind is the recently concluded WPP CSR Annual General Meeting, 2018. This is interesting for a simple reason: the audience. It consisted of CEOs of all WPP Group Companies, and also had an upwards of 50 underprivileged school kids. It was interesting because I had to come up with an entirely new approach to make sure that everybody is participating in the event and no one feels left out. Right from ice-breakers, to a simple but an engaging presentation, it was one enriching experience.
The second interesting event was the Indian Cancer Society 66th Founder’s Day. This was interesting because of two reasons. The first, this was unlike anything I had ever done before. Second, the audience consisted of cancer survivors, doctors, motivational speakers, underprivileged kids from Dharavi slums, socialites, media, armed forces, and more. It was interesting because I had to develop a completely new style of engaging with the diverse audience while making sure they had a gala time and also making sure that the seriousness of the event was not lost.
Is there any specific brief/criteria you follow for the script?
Everybody has a different approach, But I first do my basic research about the company and like to include milestones of the organisation in my welcome note. Secondly, I like to keep the script simple, for maximum reach. I make sure to include the pointers as suggested by the client, but I always put a little bit of myself, because at the end that is what makes you different from everybody else. For certain events, I also like to mix in languages that I know, based on the geographic location. And lastly, I like to develop open-ended questions, to initiate and maximise discussions or to initiate a conversation with the audience, because I firmly believe that communication is a two-way street.
What are some of the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
Every Corporate event is a challenge because different organisations have different expectations, various last moment changes. But I thoroughly believe in being prepared. One of the most common challenges is to keep the show on schedule, and it is the job of an emcee to do so. The trick is to be well versed with the show flow and be smart enough to take decisions on the spot. It pays to keep tricks up your sleeves, be it last-minute engagements, initiating Q&As, moderating panels, or even cutting down conversations. And yes, a little bit of wit goes a long way.
Another big challenge is to understand the brand. As an emcee, we are a part of completely different setups every time. Today, I may be on stage for an FMCG Global, the next day for an IT giant, and the next day for a real estate developer. The challenge is to self-transform and adopt new culture and systems every single time.
What helps is to understand the audience and the kind of event that they are going to be a part of. Understanding their expectations and takeaways they would enjoy. This helps me in bridging the gap between the client and audience. It also gives me a fair idea about the demographics of the audience.
What are some of the key tips to bear in mind while corporate anchoring?
First and foremost, one needs to understand that she/he is representing a brand, maybe in front of the employees or partners. Attire and attitude are the number one priority. Secondly, basic understanding of a brand is important to gauge the audience’s expectations. Adding in company lingo also adds to the holistic experience. A positive attitude towards the event is a great start. There are times when emcees make a mistake, but it is important to acknowledge and rectify it at the earliest. Adding humour to the bit just makes it that much better.
It is important to understand the audience and mould yourself in a way that makes you a part of the show and better accepted. Confidence is key, it goes without saying.
What have been some of your key learnings from corporate event anchoring?
I’ve learnt a lot in the past 10 years as a Corporate Emcee. It makes you confident, aware, and positive. It helps you in transforming yourself and makes you matured.
Various events teach you a lot about global markets, and current situations and also gives you a chance to self-evaluate. With every event you get a new learning, which makes you better than what you were yesterday. It teaches you how to face and overcome challenges, be calm when there is an unexpected situation. It greatly improves your communication skills, after all no one stops learning.
In the past year, I have been associated with not just the top Corporate global brands, but also with the Nation’s Top Real Estate Developers. Like previously mentioned, research helps is bridging the gap. The change was a challenge but was worth it, and I am humbled to be a part of almost 55+ and counting real estate launches and partners meet. I dedicated a good amount of time in understanding the current market scenario, the new laws and taxes that were implemented, and also the new regulations. This made me one of the most preferred real estate emcees as well.
In an exclusive with EVENTFAQS, emcee Aakarshak Mishra reveals what makes one of the top corporate emcees in the industry.