Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days. Father’s Day was created to complement Mother’s Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood.




The Cask of Amontillado Short Story

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could ; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged ; this was a point definitively settled – but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is un-redressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally un-redressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

He had a weak point – this Fortunato – although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity – to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen , was a quack – but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially : I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

I said to him – “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day ! But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How ?” said he. “Amontillado ? A pipe ? Impossible ! And in the middle of the carnival !”

“I have my doubts,” I replied ; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”

“Amontillado !”

“I have my doubts.”

“Amontillado !”

“And I must satisfy them.”

“Amontillado !”

“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If any one has a critical turn, it is he. He will tell me -“

“Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.”

“And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.”
“Come, let us go.”

“Whither ?”

“To your vaults.”

“My friend, no ; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement. Luchesi -“

“I have no engagement ; – come.”

“My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre.”

“Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado ! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.”

Thus speaking, Fortunato possessed himself of my arm. Putting on a mask of black silk, and drawing a roquelaire closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo.

There were no attendants at home ; they had absconded to make merry in honour of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato, bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him to be cautious as he followed. We came at length to the foot of the descent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors.

The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled as he strode.

“The pipe,” said he.

“It is farther on,” said I ; “but observe the white web-work which gleams from these cavern walls.”

He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication .

“Nitre ?” he asked, at length.

“Nitre,” I replied. “How long have you had that cough ?”

“Ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! – ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! – ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! – ugh ! ugh ! ugh ! – ugh ! ugh ! ugh !”

My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes.

“It is nothing,” he said, at last.

“Come,” I said, with decision, “we will go back ; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved ; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back ; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchesi -“

“Enough,” he said ; “the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.”

“True – true,” I replied ; “and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming you unnecessarily – but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.”

Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould.

“Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine.

He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me familiarly, while his bells jingled.

“I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose around us.”

“And I to your long life.”

He again took my arm, and we proceeded.

“These vaults,” he said, “are extensive.”

“The Montresors,” I replied, “were a great and numerous family.”

“I forget your arms.”

“A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure ; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.”

“And the motto ?”

“Nemo me impune lacessit.”

“Good !” he said.

The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc. We had passed through walls of piled bones, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.

“The nitre !” I said : “see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river’s bed. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your cough -“

“It is nothing,” he said ; “let us go on. But first, another draught of the Medoc.”

I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grâve. He emptied it at a breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand.

I looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement – a grotesque one.

“You do not comprehend ?” he said.

“Not I,” I replied.

“Then you are not of the brotherhood.”

“How ?”

“You are not of the masons.”

“Yes, yes,” I said, “yes, yes.”

“You ? Impossible ! A mason ?”

“A mason,” I replied.

“A sign,” he said.

“It is this,” I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my roquelaire.

“You jest,” he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. “But let us proceed to the Amontillado.”

“Be it so,” I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak, and again offering him my arm. He leaned upon it heavily. We continued our route in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame.

At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use in itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.

It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavored to pry into the depths of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did not enable us to see.

“Proceed,” I said ; “herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchesi -“

“He is an ignoramus,” interrupted my friend, as he stepped unsteadily forward, while I followed immediately at his heels. In an instant he had reached the extremity of the niche, and finding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered. A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stepped back from the recess.

“Pass your hand,” I said, “over the wall ; you cannot help feeling the nitre. Indeed it is very damp. Once more let me implore you to return. No ? Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.”

“The Amontillado !” ejaculated my friend, not yet recovered from his astonishment.

“True,” I replied ; “the Amontillado.”

As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar. With these materials and with the aid of my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche.

I had scarcely laid the first tier of my masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off. The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man. There was then a long and obstinate silence. I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth ; and then I heard the furious vibrations of the chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labours and sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided , I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier. The wall was now nearly upon a level with my breast. I again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the mason-work, threw a few feeble rays upon the figure within.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated – I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess : but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I re-approached the wall. I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed – I aided – I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.

It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had completed the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth tier. I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh ; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight ; I placed it partially in its destined position. But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognising as that of the noble Fortunato. The voice said –

“Ha ! ha ! ha ! – he ! he ! – a very good joke indeed – an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo – he ! he ! he ! – over our wine – he ! he ! he !”

“The Amontillado !” I said.

“He ! he ! he ! – he ! he ! he ! – yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting late ? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest ? Let us be gone.”

“Yes,” I said, “let us be gone.”

“For the love of God, Montressor !”

“Yes,” I said, “for the love of God !”

But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I called aloud –

“Fortunato !”

No answer. I called again –

“Fortunato !”

No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick – on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labour. I forced the last stone into its position ; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat !

The Cask of Amontillado Story
A Horror Story
Edgar Allen Poe


What’s new in PowerPoint 2013

Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 has a brand-new look: It’s cleaner and primed for use on tablets and phones, so you can swipe and tap your way through presentations. Presenter View automatically adapts to your projection set-up, and you can even use it on a single monitor. Themes now come with variations, which make it simpler to hone in on the look you want. And when you’re working with others, you can add comments to ask questions and get feedback.

To find out more about Microsoft Office 2013, see What’s new in Office 2013.



More choices for getting started

Instead of opening with a blank presentation, PowerPoint 2013 gives you several ways to start your next presentation using a template, a theme, a recent presentation, a not-so-recent presentation, or a blank one.

PowerPoint 2013 start screen

New, improved presenter tools

Hassle-free Presenter View

Presenter View allows you to see your notes on your monitor while the audience only sees the slide. In previous releases, it was difficult to figure out who saw what on which monitor. The improved Presenter View fixes that headache and makes it simpler to work with.

Presenter View

  • Use Presenter View on one monitor       Presenter View no longer requires multiple monitors. Now you can rehearse in Presenter View without hooking up anything else.
  • Zoom in on a slide    Click the magnifying glass to zoom in on charts, diagrams, or whatever you want to emphasize for your audience.
  • Jump to a slide    Use Slide Navigator to browse to other slides in the presentation.
  • Automatic set up    PowerPoint can automatically sense your computer setup and choose the right monitor for Presenter view.

Read more: Use Presenter view to deliver your slide show

Widescreen friendly

Much of the world’s TVs and video have gone to widescreen and HD formats, and so has PowerPoint. There’s a 16:9 layout, and new themes designed to take advantage of widescreen possibilities.

Widescreen friendly

Read more: Change the slide size to standard or widescreen

Start an online meeting from PowerPoint

Now you’ve got several ways to share a PowerPoint presentation over the Web. You can send out a link to the slides, or start a full-on Lync meeting that displays the deck with audio and IM. Your audience can join you from anywhere, on any device using Lync or the Office Presentation Service.

Start an online meeting from PowerPoint

Read more:

Better design tools

Theme variations

Themes now come with a set of variations, like different color palettes and font families. And, PowerPoint 2013 provides new widescreen themes along with standard sizes. Choose a theme and variant from the start screen or from the Design tab.

Theme variations

Pick a variant of the theme

Read more: Apply color and design to my slides (theme)

Line-up and space objects equally

No more eyeballing objects on your slides to see if they’re lined up. Smart Guides automatically appear when your objects, such as pictures, shapes, and more, are close to even, and they also tell you when objects are spaced evenly.

Line up and space objects equally

Read more: Snap charts, pictures, and objects to a grid to align them

Motion path improvements

Now when you create a motion path, PowerPoint shows you where your object will end up. Your original object stays put, and a “ghost” image moves along the path to the endpoint.

Motion path improvements

Read more: Create custom animation effects

Merge common shapes

Select two or more common shapes on your slide and combine them to create new shapes and icons.

Merge common shapes

Read more: Combine shapes to create a custom shape

Improved video and audio support

PowerPoint now supports more multimedia formats, such as .mp4 and .mov with H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio, and more high-definition content. PowerPoint 2013 includes more built-in codecs so you don’t have to install them for certain file formats to work.

Use the Play in Background feature to play music while people view your slide show.

Read more:

New eyedropper for color matching

You can capture the exact color from an object on your screen, and then apply it to any shape. The eyedropper does the match-up work for you.

Use the eyedropper for color matching

Read more: Use eyedropper to match colors on your slide

PowerPoint on touch devices

Now it’s possible to interact with PowerPoint on most any device including a Windows 8 PC. Using typical touch gestures, you can swipe, tap, scroll, zoom, and pan your way through your slides, and really feel the presentation.

PowerPoint on touch devices

Check out our new


Share and save

Share and save your Office files to the cloud

The cloud is like file storage in the sky. You can get to it anytime you’re online. Now it’s easy to save your Office files to your own SkyDrive or to your organization’s site. From there you can access and share your PowerPoint presentations and other Office files. You can even work together with your colleagues on the same file at the same time.

Save your files to the cloud

Read more: Save and share a PowerPoint presentation to Microsoft SkyDrive


Now you can give feedback in PowerPoint with the new Comments pane. And you can show or hide comments and revisions.

The new Comments pane

Read more: Add comments in a presentation

Work together on the same presentation

You and your colleagues can work together on the same presentation, either with the desktop or online versions of PowerPoint, and see each other’s changes.


Objek Wisata di Kota Makassar

Pantai Losari 

Pantai Losari merupakan icon Kota Makassar. Pantai ini dulunya merupakan pantai dengan meja terpanjang di dunia, karena warung-warung tenda yang berjejer di sepanjang tanggul pantai. Namun saat ini warung-warung tersebut telah direlokasi ke tempat yang tidak jauh dari kawasan wisata. Pemerintah Kota Makassar telah memperindah pantai ini dengan membuat anjungan, sehingga lebih bersih dan nyaman untuk dikunjungi. Di sekitar pantai ini terdapat banyak kafe-kafe dan restoran yang menyajikan makanan laut yang masih segar. Selain itu, pengunjung juga dapat menikmati makanan khas Kota Makassar, seperti pisang epek, pisang ijo, coto Makassar, sop konro, dan lain sebagainya. Disepanjang pantai banyak juga terdapat penginapan, baik hotel kelas melati sampai hotel berbintang. Terdapat juga rumah sakit dan pusat perbelanjaan emas serta kerajinan/souvenir khas Makassar. Lokasi pantai ini terletak di Jantung Kota Makasar, yaitu di Jalan Penghibur sebelah barat Kota Makassar.

Pulau Samalona 

Pulau Samalona merupakan wilayah Kota Makassar yang luasnya sekitar 2,34 hektar. Pulau ini merupakan salah satu objek wisata bahari yang banyak dikunjungi wisatawan lokal maupun mancanegara. Kawasan pulau ini sangat bagus utuk menyelam, karena di sekelilingnya terdapat karang-karang laut yang dihuni beraneka ragam ikan tropis dan biota laut lainnya. Pulau ini berjarak sekitar 6,8 Km dari Kota Makassar yang dapat ditempuh sekitar 20 – 30 menit dengan menggunakan speed boot. Di lokasi ini juga terdapat beberapa penginapan sederhana berbentuk rumah panggung yang dapat menampung sekitar 20 orang. Selain itu, tersedia juga beberapa warung makanan yang menyediakan aneka ragam seafood segar.

Benteng Somba Opu 
Benteng Somba Opu dibangun pada tahun 1525 oleh Sultan Gowa ke IX. Benteng ini merupakan pusat perdagangan dan pelabuhan rempah-rempah yang ramai dikunjungi pedagang dari Asia dan Eropa. Pada tahun 1669, benteng ini dikuasai oleh VOC kemudian dihancurkan hingga terendam oleh ombak pasang. Tahun 1980-an, benteng ini ditemukan kembali oleh sejumlah ilmuawan. Dan pada tahun 1990, benteng ini direkonstruksi sehingga tampak lebih baik. Kini, Benteng Somba Opu menjadi sebuah objek wisata bersejarah di Kota Makassar yang di dalamnya terdapat beberapa bangunan rumah adat Sulawesi Selatan yang mewakili suku Bugis, Makassar, Mandar, dan Toraja. Selain itu, terdapat juga sebuah meriam dengan panjang 9 m dan berat 9.500 kg serta sebuah museum yang berisi benda-benda bersejarah peninggalan Kesultanan Gowa.

Fort Rotterdam 
Fort Rotterdam ini awalnya dibangun pada tahun 1545 oleh Raja Gowa X dengan nama Benteng Ujung Pandang. Di dalamnya terdapat rumah panggung khas Gowa di mana Raja dan keluarganya tinggal. Pada saat Belanda menguasai are Banda dan Maluku, mereka mutuskan untuk manaklukkan Kerajaan Gowa agar armada dagang VOC dapat masuk dan merapat dengan mudah di Sulawesi. Dalam usahanya menaklukkan Gowa, Belanda menyewa pasukan dari Maluku. Selama setahun lebih Benteng digempur, akhirnya Belanda berhasil masuk serta menghancurkan rumah Raja dan seisi Benteng. Pihak Belanda memaksa sultan Hasanuddin untuk menandatangani Perjanjian Bongaya pada tahun 1667, dimana salah satu pasal dalam perjanjian tersebut mewajibkan Kerajaan Gowa menyerahkan Benteng kepada Belanda.

Setelah Benteng diserahkan kepada Belanda, Benteng kembali dibangun dan ditata sesuai dengan arsitektur Belanda kemudian namanya diubah menjadi Ford Rotterdam. Benteng ini kemudian digunakan sebagai pusat pemerintahan   dan penampungan rempah-rempah di Wilayah Indonesia Timur. Pada masa penjajahan Jepang, Benteng ini difungsikan sebagai pusat studi pertanian dan bahasa. Kemudian TNI dijadikan sebagai pusat komando. Dan sekarang Benteng ini menjadi pusat kebudayaan dan seni.

Di dalam Benteng ini terdapat beberapa ruang tahanan/penjara yang slaah satunya digunakan untuk menahan Pangeran Diponegoro. Selain itu, terdapat juga sebuah gereja peninggalan Belanda dan Meseum La Galigo yang menyimpan kurang lebih 4.999 koleksi. Koleksi tersebut meliputi koleksi prasejarah, numismatic, keramik asing, sejarah, naskah, dan etnografi. Koleksi Etnografi ini terdiri dari berbagai jenis hasil teknologi, kesenian, peralatan hidup dan benda lain yang dibuat dan digunakan oleh suku Bugis, Makassar, Mandar, da Toraja. Saat ini, selain sebagai tempat wisata bersejarah, Benteng ini juga dijadikan sebagai pusat kebudayaan Sulawesi Selatan.


Catching Fire Book

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.(less)


10 Tips for Being the Master of Ceremonies

A friend and fellow speaker called me recently and asked my advice about being a Master of Ceremonies.  She will be doing this for a major awards luncheon, and while she is an experienced presenter, she had not taken on this role in the past.  As someone who cares deeply about serving her audiences, she did not want to “wing-it”, and thus was collecting best practices and ideas.

Being an Emcee (or is it MC?) is different from being a speaker.  I have served as the MC for several events, and find that it involves a different set of skills from giving a speech, but at the same time a good Master of Ceremonies needs similar traits to a speaker.  In many ways the MC role can be more difficult.

When I think of how an MC can make a difference in the success of an event I am reminded of the Academy Awards.  Over my life I have seen a variety of celebrities host the Oscars, but nobody (in my opinion) holds a candle to Billy Crystal.  Mr Crystal sets the tone for the event on the years they are wise enough to ask him to serve as the host.  Other years we are left thinking “I wish Billy Crystal was the MC”.

My “Conference Catalyst” program is often morphed into an MC style role at multi-day events.  This means that I am juggling educational / motivational material with the important tasks of introducing the speakers and keeping the whole schedule running on time.  When you have to balance between both roles (speaker and MC), it can be a juggling act….and I mean juggling knives or fire.  There is a lot to do as the MC, and a slip up can cause the vibe of the meeting to hit the floor.

If you are going to be the Master of Ceremonies for an event, here are ten tips that will help you contribute to the success and help give your audience a good experience:

1.  Prepare for an opening.  If you just come out and start the introductions there is now show.  The Olympics do not just start with some folks running races or lifting weights.  They have a choreographed opening ceremonies.  You need the same thing.  Crafting a pertinent story that draws in your audience before you get into the mundane (but necessary) tasks of thanking the sponsors and honoring guests is a great way to launch. 

2.  Remember that you are not the star of the show.  When you deliver a speech, there is a part of the role that requires you to take center stage, but as MC it is not your time in the spotlight.  You are there to keep things moving and to make sure the others on the program (or the award winners) are celebrated.

3.  Your personality sets the tone for the event.  While #2 holds true (you are not the star), you still set the pace.  If you are buttoned up and serious, you can be sure the whole show will be stiff.  If you are all over the map without purpose, …. there will be no focus.  Find a happy medium, while putting out a high-energy vibe.

4.  If you are not a professional comedian, do not tell jokes.  A big mistake is made when people think a joke is the key to putting an audience at ease.  Nothing is worse at an event than seeing an amateur bomb a canned punch line.  Humor is important, but do not force it. Be yourself, and avoid the one liners!

5.  When giving the microphone to others, make sure they have a time frame for their remarks. An award winner who rambles on and on will bury your momentum.  If you cannot brief the other speakers in advance, work in some instructions about how much time they have.  When appropriate do not walk far from the lectern.  If you are standing close, they will keep their remarks brief.  If you walk away they will talk forever.

6.  Have transitions between speakers or award winners.  A great way to transition is to give a short recap or compliment of what was said by the person before, and then set up the next presentation.  Have stories prepared in advance about those you will be introducing (if possible) so that you have something to add each time you speak.

7.  Be prepared.  If someone does not show up, or if a waiter drops a tray… be prepared for how you will handle the confusion, etc…  Live events often have things that can be a distraction.  The key to being a good MC is to keep control of the meeting no matter what happens.

8.  Shorten the script.  If the meeting organizer gives you a script that is horrible, make changes. Your job as MC is to ensure the event is not boring.  If the program flops you will be blamed for the poor reviews, not the person back at the home office who wrote the words.  Thus you must be involved in creating a tight script that has a good tempo or be able to make changes as you are on stage.

9.  Stay positive.  Even if something goes wrong or someone is out of line, the MC must stay up-beat.  If you get nasty about anything the audience will resent you for it.

10.  Have a prepared close.  Just like the opening ceremonies, you need to tie it together with a closing story or a call to action.  Recap the highlights of the evening, and challenge the audience in some way (even if it is to come back next year!).  If you have no closing ceremony then there is little to remember.

Have A Great Day.