For Greg Ward, being a professional Master of Ceremonies is not a role he takes lightly. It’s not a stand-up comedian profession, but rather a hospitality driven role. It is about the audience, the client, and an opportunity as an MC to guide the delegates, and vendors, and take them on a journey during the conference.
Although the Coronavirus brought in-person events and launches to an abrupt hold, Greg notes that now, his international career is in an even better position. There are no borders, flights and VISAs that stop him from speaking anywhere in the world. It strengthens global relationships and helps build a wider client base. And in fact, the audience now also benefits with access to speakers across the world!
However, as a speaker it is vital to feed off of the cues that an audience offers when being live on stage. Small things like eye-contact and the micro expression elements that get fed back to the speaker during the session are all vital cues as to how they deliver their message. This lack of in-person interaction and physical feedback means that the sense of connection which is really important, is often lacking in a virtual session.
Not all changes have been negative as a result of the pandemic. Greg noted a strange feeling while in quarantine, a weird sense of freedom – there’s no work, obviously no money, but also no sense of responsibility, so as a consequence there was this massive window of innovation available. Almost like a blank canvas in front of him. This was certainly an opportunity to reinvent, to do better and be different, even though it came from a challenging set of circumstances.
Towards the end of 2020 Greg became the president of the PSA in New Zealand, and he cast his focus on forging connections, finding talent and banding together to find solutions. The phrase 'none of us is as smart as all of us' became his ethos because if we all help each other, a rising tide lifts all ships.
In addition Greg has started a breakfast club, every Tuesday morning at 7am, which is a time for their members to join him on Zoom. That hour is spent discussing the wins that people have had over the course of a week, and finding solutions challenges.
Greg shares his business insights at this year’s Innovation in Speaking (UN)Conference. His topic ‘How to start innovation inside your Business’ will detail how he has forged a niche as an in-demand international virtual MC and speaker, turning his business model upside down, while creating online streaming productions for his clients. He inspires audiences to live authentically and intentionally ‘in the moment’.
Get your tickets for the Innovation in Speaking (UN)Conference from 9-12 April here!