New Baby!

My wife Sharni and I are proud to announce a new addition to our family – Tarquin Marlo Cameron born 18th Jan 2014. He’s a very healthy little boy weighing in at 4.72 kg (10.4lb)! So it’s fair to say that life has changed quickly around here already. Felix and Sadie are very excited to have a little baby brother and are constantly fascinated by everything from the bathing ritual to the vibrating baby bouncer. The bad news is that after a break of 1 year we’re back in to nappies again and all parents with multiple children know how much that hurts!!

With more mouths to feed I need to bring on the gigs! Luckily there’s lots going on. I’ll be back on the Carnival Spirit cruise ship at the end of February and also at the end of March. I should have many more stories for the crowd by then.

As far as Corporate MCing goes, I’m off to Okinawa, Japan in April followed by Prague, Czech Republic in May. Both are conferences for Citibank South East Asia. The Melbourne International Comedy Festival hits somewhere in the middle and while not performing a show I will be jumping up on stage in a few select rooms.

I also have my new comedy keynote presentation called ‘Brainstuff’ which I’m looking forward to performing around the country this year.

Phew… bring on Feb!



Wow, what a city! My MC duties are now over and I can relax. No more corporate speak.

This place is truly amazing. Why doesn’t it get mentioned in the same breath with ‘New York City’ or ‘Paris’?

Laneways everywhere oozing with style. Poverty brings desperation but it also brings clever street salesmen, stunning cheap crafts and crazy traffic where pedestrians jostle with taxis trucks and the ‘recycling guy’ dragging his vastly over-stacked trolley.

Extraordinary mosques on every hill, The Bospherous a magnificent waterway filled with everything from small tourist boats, regular commuter ferries, large car ferries through to huge tankers crossing the 3 seas to the Black Sea.

Being a drummer I was pretty distracted by the famous Turkish cymbal manufacturers. The cymbals looked and sounded amazing. I couldn’t believe how many music shops there were in the same street. I counted at least 10!

cymbals turkey


Here’s a nice article from my friends at ICMI on the benefits of engaging a professional MC. (read ‘like me!’)


by ICMI on Tuesday, 5 March 2013

To MC or not MC? In today’s World of conference’s and events, deciding not to engage a professional M.C. can be detrimental to a successful outcome. If this sounds a little melodramatic, picture this – The conference has begun, the first speaker is speaking and you are then advised your second speaker is running 30 minutes late. What do you do? A good professional Master of Ceremonies (MC) will be able to fill this spot until the speaker arrives. Could the in-house MC do this?

Gone are the days when the company Managing Director hosted the Awards dinner or conference. Clients today spend literally tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on all aspects of conferencing and events, and it is imperative that goals are kicked in every area. MC’s today are not a luxury but a must for all conferences and events looking to impress delegates.

So you have never booked a professional MC before? Why change!

I have clients tell me “our events have always been successful in the past, why do we need to pay for a professional MC?” As one of Australia’s top corporate MC’s, Darren Isenberg says, “Just because some clients say ‘We’ve never had a professional MC before and everything went well” doesn’t mean they don’t need to consider changing. MC’s, like mobile phones, are one of those things you don’t realise how useful they are until you get one!”

So what does an MC really offer?

A good professional MC will:

  • Keep the audience engaged – Using a variety of techniques, a professional MC will ensure the audience is engaged in the program (usually ensuring they are having fun). They’ll also give the conference or event focus and they can vary the energy flow over the event.
  • Make the event meaningful – A professional MC will be able to draw links within the program, bring issues to life and can create a real learning atmosphere.
  • Maximise outcomes and investment – Conferences and events cost money, lots of money, so it is important that the outcomes are met and there is return on the investment. A good MC will assist this process.
  • Provide knowledge and experience – Finally a professional MC can assist organisers in creating a productive program or event which meets client expectations. An MC with experience will know what works.

What should you look for when booking a professional MC?

So you have decided to engage a professional M.C. for you event….Congratulations! What should you look for? A professional M.C. should:

  • Be able to demonstrate a great array of experience. If you are running a 3 day conference, has the M.C. been involved in one or more of these before and if so, what did their client say. Why not ask to speak with the client?
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of what your objectives for the event are.
  • Be clear on how their fee structure works
  • Most importantly take the headache away from you and provide a sense of security knowing that whatever happens on the day, the M.C. will be experienced enough to deal with it.

How do M.C.’s add value to your event?

Most people don’t understand that professional M.C.’s actually bring a lot more to an event other than just being there on the night. Brett Rutledge, another very popular corporate MC in Australia and New Zealand, believes that “An MC for a conference is like the pilot of 747. You don’t pay the pilot of a 747 to fly the plane as computers fly the plane. You pay the pilot of the 747 to save your arse when the computers fail!”

Brett added that “most importantly, an MC can be Independent, that is, they can say things and at times challenge the audience when an in-house person could not”.

It’s all very well to hear from MC’s, but what does a client say? Suzanne Hart, Director of Suzanne Hart Events said, “Any professional conference that wants to run smoothly and on time needs to engage a professional MC…The very good MC’s are great at ensuring the program moves along, they’re able to think on their feet and deal with unexpected situations. Finally they’re critical in linking the key elements of the program together. A consistent face at a three day conference can add enormous amount of value”. Suzanne did point out however that it is very important for the organiser to provide a detailed brief for the MC.

I’ve been having a ball working as a featured comedian on the Carnival Spirit in the last few weeks. Trips to Noumea, Vanuatu and most recently New Zealand. The best part about heading to the ‘land of the long white cloud’ was that it was the first time for most of the international crew onboard. They poured onto the crew only front deck of the huge ship as we entered Milford Sound. Luckily the weather cleared in time for us to take some great pics.

My last trip was Christchurch to Sydney arriving at Circular Quay. By a stroke of good fortune one of my favourite corporate clients called asking me to MC her corporate awards night at the Sydney Opera House. As luck would have it the dates aligned and I stepped off the ship, into a hotel alongside the ship and then I walked to the venue. Perfect! It was a sensational night which ended with a rockin’ set from Mahalia Barnes and Prinnie Stevens.

Finally, I have just returned from MCing the AIME conference ‘Hosted Buyers Breakfast’ for my 3rd year in a row. My job was to write a little comedy spot, warm up the 300+ international guests and introduce the various speakers. The most fun happens at the end when I have to send the audience off into small groups. This year I created a novel way of sending them off. Rather than just calling out their tour numbers I played a song to the whole room. They then had to identify the number referenced in the song before leaving if was theirs. Songs included ‘One’, ‘Four to the Floor’ and ‘Knock Three Times’. They really enjoyed the challenge as some songs were way harder to pick than others.

MC at TEDx Melb event @MECC 2012

My first TEDx experience was fantastic. It was hard work with lots of intros needing editing and plenty of background research but it was all worth it. While I’m very used to the corporate MC style, I’m not used to working to a crowd most with their heads deep in their iPads tweeting anything of interest! A couple of my asides were tweeted immediately. Hilarious!!

I really enjoyed the selection of speakers which included Shanaka Fernando from Lentil As Anything restaurants , Adam O’Donnell ex SAS member- now Leadership trainer and Helen Macdonald  the corporate optimist.

I enjoyed getting the crowd dancing for Joseph D’Souza’s arrival onto stage. Check out the pic!

TEDx Melbourne Crowd goes off!


Thanks to Adam Yeo for his great event and to Troy and Zara from Humour Australia for asking me to MC for them. (They are sensational MC’s by the was so it’s always a pleasure to fill in for them; you know the gig’s going to be great!)