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The value of Awards Nights

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I had much pleasure recently in MCing the inaugural Third Sector Awards, recognising the best CEOs Entrepreneurs and leaders in this sector. It was a great night at the Plaza ballroom, Melbourne, as the industry congratulated the people behind the organisations.  Congratulations to all winners – and finalists: particularly to young Madeleine Buchner, Founder and CEO, Little Dreamers; winner 2017 Young Leader of the Year and CEO of the Year: Lisa Cotton, Co-Founder and Chief Executive, The Funding Network Australia.
After 30 years on the corporate scene as an MC and conference facilitator, I think Awards nights are my favourite event. Firstly, they allow us a rare moment to pause, pat ourselves on the back, and admit that sometimes we do just get things right. Secondly, they highlight who is really setting the agenda; who is raising the bar higher each time, so that those who may fall short this year – can seek out those in front for mentorship and guidance. As was articulated on the night – leaders lead by doing. It is their actions that make them leaders, and it was wonderful to be able to facilitate this event that I am sure will grow from strength to strength. Plus, it was a fun chance to throw in a bit of magic and silliness; two things I try to inject into any event.
If the face is familiar, I hosted some kid’s TV during the early 90s, and I still work in the industry as producer and audience warm-up of many shows. Just this year: Millionaire Hotseat, AFL Footy Show, Mad as Hell, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation among them. As the guy with the loudest voice in the room, I am very comfortable breaking the ice, welcoming new attendees, and generally keeping things running to order.
Some nice words from Glenn Rainsford of Tasmanian Independent Retailers an event earlier this year:
“From me personally, as events manager of a team of one, your presence took enormous pressure off me. You provided great humour and quick wit, a genuine interest in the subject matter of the other speakers and you worked exceptionally hard to make sure we ran as close as possible to the schedule and adjusting on the fly. Any other host and we’d have fallen of the rails. You are the difference between just an emcee and an event host. And you can print that. I would go as far as to say that you are the best host/emcee that we have employed in the 8 years that I have been involved with TIR’s conferences.
Presenting Matters: As I said, after 30 years + on stage, I’ve learnt a few things about public speaking, and I deliver a keynote address called Presenting Matters. You might have people in your organisation who might benefit from some time focusing on how they can be the very best presenter they can be; whether it’s to camera, a board room of 20 or an auditorium of 2000. Contact me to find out more for one-on-one coaching or a presentation to a group.
If you feel I might add value to an event you have planned; a launch, a conference, an awards night or the like, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can learn more about me here, and yes, if you are wondering, I can do mates rates for the Third Sector. Just ask. All the best with your activities as we run up to Xmas; always a busy time, but especially so for those who have a focus on community.
Cheers, Michael.
Brought to you by Michael Pope, The Master of Ceremonies, www.michaelpope.com.au

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