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  • Writer's pictureNadine Hegmanns

Mistress of Ceremonies

I was recently asked to emcee my close friends‘ wedding anniversary. One would think that, as a conference interpreter, I‘d be experienced in speaking publicly. But am I? Do I have what it takes to act as mistress of ceremonies?

Well, that certainly depends on the setting. As a matter of fact, I did learn quite a bit about public speaking when I was at uni. I learned to speak in front of an audience with confidence and ease in consecutive interpreting seminars and developed rhetorical and speech skills with the help of video analysis. I‘m used to speaking to a large audience and feel confident on stage. As an interpreter, I have experience in interpreting welcoming words and after-dinner speeches and am therefore familiar with storytelling, dramaturgy, and the structure of speeches. I have given several lectures on topics relevant to the interpreting industry myself and know how to use stage fright to my advantage. And I guess, I am naturally outgoing, too.

But does that make me a good MC? It might. Yet hosting an event requires just as much preparation, heart, spontaneity, communication skills, sociability, stress resistance and resilience as interpreting the very same event, maybe even more so! Me, I am passionate about interpreting. I enjoy consecutive assignments on stage, but I also feel right at home in the interpreting booth. But if the occasion is right, if it feels right, I’m also quite comfortable to act as an MC – but not professionally. My friends’ party certainly was a lot of fun and I feel more than honoured to have been given the gig. Because I know it really meant something to them.

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