TweetWritten by: Hamzah Moin Islamic Conferences can be grand. It’s a time where people from …
“May I have your attention please!”
MC’s or Moderators are tasked with one of the toughest things to do on the planet: introduce the speaker or program. It usually takes a couple of minutes. Surprisingly, most MCs cannot handle this task.
Introducing the 5 terrible types of Muslim MCs:
The Salam Perfectionist
This is the most common one I’ve seen. This MC says Assalamu Alaikum and awaits for a response from the crowd. No matter how loud or boisterous the reply from the crowd is, the MC will always have a disgusted look on his face and retort, “What is this, a janaza? Let’s hear a REAL Salam!!”
Yeah, I’m guilty of this. But being the decent human being that I am, I stop at two. I once had to sit through someone like this:
After the 30th one I think our throats started to get really coarse and we begged him to stop. He was probably inventing some sort of new-age torture technique.
I don’t even remember the moderator introducing a speaker. In fact, I don’t even remember a speaker at all. Perhaps this was just a cunning stalling tactic. Best 45 minutes ever.
It’s too bad we didn’t have those sheets of paper to get him to stop.
The Nervous Sheet-of-paper Guy
One of the only real tasks an MC or moderator has is to inform the speaker that they’re out of time. Simple right? Wrong. Nervous Sheet-of-Paper Guys have a miserable time and quickly make enemies with the speaker.
The tone of the notes can range from friendly, “Salam shaykh, you have 10 minutes left, wahoo!” to straight-to-the-point, “Time is up”. Eventually they get passive-aggressive, “I think we’re 3 minutes overtime :)” to just plain aggressive, “If you don’t end this speech in the next minute, then the next note I give you will be my fist.”
Some of these folks are just a bag of nerves though. Sometimes they’re so nervous they’ll just start passing you random things that aren’t even notes. Once, when I was speaking, the MC passed me a Subway stamp card and a bus transfer ticket. This derailed my speech and I ended up talking about tuna subs and public transportation for the next 20 minutes.
But at least Nervous Sheet-of-Paper guy stays in the shadows and knows to keep things moving along and not treat their brief moderating gig as some sort of stand-up comedy show.
The one thing I hate more than anything in this world are people trying to be funny. Like this clown:
Yeah, yeah… I get it … it’s nice when MCs can lighten the mood and keep the program running. But that only works when they’re funny. Usually the whole “Hey guess what guys! Dinner is delayed 2 hours… LOL JK it’s ready now” thing doesn’t go over well. Or anything related to the “Marriage Students Association”. Perhaps it was funny at a certain time 14 years ago…
Or maybe these “Comedians” might try being funny at the worst types of events to be funny at… like a Cancer Survivor Forum or a Janaza. Trust me… I’ve done stand-up at these places before. It didn’t go well.
There’s nothing more annoying that to hear an awesome speech from a speaker only for it to be simplified in a couple of words by the MC, who believes that giving a Coles Notes version of the speech we just heard is something the world desperately needs.
The big problem with all this? They sort of over-simplify:
Even when the topics are incredibly complex:
Or even when it’s not even relevant… at all:
But a summarizer is always better than a Lengthener…
Sometimes I think some MCs are jelly of the speaker. “How come he gets 30 minutes and I only get 2?” So they’ll take a very long time in introducing the speaker and topic.
Most good MCs would take one or two points to elaborate maybe. The Lengthener instead wants to start from the top.
Then somehow… it becomes…