Before I emcee an event, I spend a couple weeks researching the teams that will be attending. I gather information about the team history 3 years back (one generation) unless that team is a historically prevalent and iconic presence (like 45 or 71). I compile a bunch of information about the teams and put it all in a one-page spreadsheet that I keep on the scoring table. Here’s what I used for the 2019 Tippecanoe District event. I never took it out on the field; I studied it before each match to memorize the key bits I intended to use about the 6 teams about to play.
While teams load in, I bop around the pits, introduce myself and my role, ask the name of the robot, and any other cool or interesting things about the team this year. I then follow up with the team members in queue between matches (often they haven’t named their robot yet, and decide on one the night before they play. It’s always adorable to see them chase me down “WE FIGURED OUT OUR ROBOT’S NAME!!”)
The best advice I ever received, was given to me by Dan Green. He said when you’re introducing teams, look the drive team members in the eye. It creates a human connection, makes them feel seen, and pumps up their confidence.
Pacing is also important. Don’t blow your voice or your resources the first day. I gather a lot of information before the event about each team, but I usually don’t use most of it until the last day. During playoffs, I try to highlight one team on each alliance (two if they’re about to get knocked out). The event builds throughout the days; let your delivery reflect that.
Be hyper aware of what’s happening beyond the field; there are great stories that go on in the pits or in the stands. Keep in constant contact with the referee crew, the field soup, the FTA crew, the EM, and the VC. Chat up drive coaches during down times. Always be learning, picking up morsels you can use.
Have a friend who is on water duty for you. Making sure you’re drinking enough, refilling as necessary.
Last bit of advice: Each time you go out on to the field, before you cross the gate, throw your shoulders back. Stick out your chest. A positive posture promotes a positive demeanor which promotes a positive delivery.
To build on my previous post: A Master of Ceremonies is a student of the competing teams; a Game Announcer is a student of the game.