I was the first one to be informed about this but at that moment, I was the one who looked most surprised. Maybe it’s because the job turned out to be a bit more challenging than what I expected. It was a simple emceeing stint during what WPA calls “Mentoring Lunch,” a 1-hour and 15-minute ‘talk show type’ discussion with three international leaders who will be asked by us, emcees, a combination of questions that might be interesting to their audience – a bunch of young people in their teens and twenties, listening to them while eating from their packed lunch boxes.
There were four of us asked to emcee but we will be emceeing separately because there will be four different sessions.
At first, while still in Manila, I thought that I would only have to introduce the speakers for a track. Then, I think it was during our flight that I found out that we had to sort of “interview” some leaders. It was supposed to be two of us emceeing per session but on their second thought, it wouldn’t be advisable because of the need for interpretation. (There will be too many people speaking!)
Now it was 10 am and we’re having a meeting. In the meeting, I learn for the first time that we don’t have a script, we have to do it alone, we have to come up with our own questions and we don’t have a profile of the speakers – just their names. And it was happening at 12pm, two hours from now. Okay… I calmly panicked (is there such a thing?). My two newfound friends (also emceeing) were smiling at me at the table. They looked pretty calm and confident. (Why am I the only one who feels scared here?)
They only found out that morning! Another one comes up and he finds out right there for the first time. Hahaha! But he barely reacts. Piece of cake for him!
I dread the stage. Well, maybe not that much. But it’s scary. Especially when you’re not prepared. 😉
So… we ran to Mr. Google for some information and I kept on landing on websites that are in Bahasa Indonesia. One of my speakers is Indonesian and write ups about him seem to be only in that language. No hope with Google translate either. Ah, never mind. I settled with 3-word descriptions for their introduction. Copied some of my friend’s questions. Added two self-thought questions. And started praying, “so help me God.” Amen.
I came to the venue early. Hall C. It was packed with young people in a matter of minutes. I met the interpreter and our three speakers. It was time to start. I stuttered with the introductions. Wait, only the English-speaking audience would notice that, right? Then, the rest of it flowed rather smoothly. We ended exactly ON TIME! Wow. And I learned so much! From the experience and from what our panel shared with us. I admit there’s a lot I can improve on when it comes to emceeing but way to go. I have to say ‘not bad’ for my first international appearance. LOL.
So there, don’t you just love surprises? Let me share some of my favorite responses from my panel members, Ptr. Ben Jennings, Ptr. Timothy and his wife Sis. Susan:
Riza: Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?
Ben: I’m 84 years old…
(Okay grandpa. You only look 83! Hihihi!)
I forgot the question for this one:
Timothy: Young people, don’t be fooled by someone who goes into the ministry after he starts courting you because he wants to win your heart! If his heart is really for God, he would have been doing those things even before you met.
(Wink. wink. Cool advise P. Timothy!)
Riza: Final words you want to say to our young people? One sentence from you that you want them to remember?
Ben: (paraphrase) Make it your goal to seek God and meet him face to face every single day.
There’s actually much more but since I was emceeing, I wasn’t able to take notes. Hihi.
There goes my second surprise!