One definition has it that the emcee is the event’s representative, is the bridge between the organizers and the audience, sets the tone for the performances, determines the energy level, and creates the kind of feeling the event will have. When you select an emcee, look for a person who has a pleasant stage presence, who is gracious, personable and flexible, who can think on her feet, keep many balls in the air at the same time, not get easily flustered, and calmly handles the unexpected.

Many of these attributes of the classic emcee are often bred in the bone, but thinking on one’s feet, flexibility and remaining calm under pressure could be traced to Whiting’s many years in the boardrooms of business and culture, where competing demands must be satisfied, where order and process are paramount, and ruffled feathers must be soothed.

Whiting is proof that the ability to enchant an audience and gracefully command its attention, especially when the best-planned shows insist on going awry, are skills slowly honed over time under testing conditions. There are no short cuts.

Whiting captures her method in these two sentences: “The many years wearing these many hats have taught me how to set the right tone for the event, manage time while maintaining a positive vibe, and create an environment in which the guests feel welcomed. I like to make each individual feel she is the one for whom the event was staged.”

Black History Month with Sandra

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