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Hosting in the moment

In my last blog post I promised to write more about how to be in the moment as a host. Here it is!

Hosting is a tough tight rope act.

Why? Because at the same instant, you're thinking of what just happened, watching what is happening currently, planning what happens next, and announcing it.

Hosting Improv Against Humanity in my Seersucker Suit
Like the video game Tetris: you're carefully placing a piece and at the same time planning where to put the next piece that will fall, all in your big game plan of clearing the board.

You can be in the moment as a host when you trust enough in the future (your sense of timing and your plan) to let it go from your mind and enjoy the now, enjoy this moment with the audience.

The more you host, the more you can rely on trusting the moment when you're calling the shots as they happen and saying what you sense needs to be said. It takes practice to get in to this zone and to develop an awareness of the shape and flow of a show.

Sometimes hosts can get "in their head" or they "make it all about them" or  they "don't connect with the crowd" - which causes stuttering, sounding insincere or rehearsed, or talking at the crowd instead of with them ... I see this happening because these hosts have fallen out of the moment. They've forgotten their job of connecting with the audience,  they're analyzing what just happened, or they're planning for what happens next.

As you open and close the show and intro each of the components of the performance, you've got to be in the moment yourself to engage the audience. Great hosts connect to the audience in a charming way as they present the show. This means having a rough idea of what you're going to say - and then being open to inspiration based on what you're getting from the crowd and what the show needs.

To get in the moment as a host, allow yourself to stand still and take breath. Take it in. Smile. Then say one thing to the audience and pause to watch them react. Tell them what is about to happen. Ask them to support the show. Then, enjoy!

Happy Hosting!

D
One of the best posters for a show I've hosted - I got cartooned!



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