The moderator's job is not Just to keep order and be fair, but to lead the group to achieving its purpose, whatever that may be. There's always a trade-off between impartiality and knowledge of the content, between discovering the will of the group and influencing it. A moderator new to the group is open-minded and impartial, but unaware of the underlying currents or even of the explicit content. The more the moderator knows, the better she gets at knowing who makes sense, who talks too much without saying anything, who needs to be drawn out, why Juan always ignores
A good moderator also needs technical skills to use the kinds of tools we describe here. The companies we profile by and large have not yet reached their goal to make meetings self-managing -- with tools simple enough to allow all the participants to use them, and with protocols that allow for simultaneous data-entry at almost all times. Items needing decisions -- such as agendas, shifting from one mode to another, closing a vote or moving from topic to topic in a synchronous meeting -- could then be handled by a group itself without the need for a moderator.
Being a Master of CeremoniesA Master or Mistress of Ceremonies or MC (emcee), sometimes called a compère or an MJ for "microphone jockey," is the host of an official public or private staged event or other performance. The MC usually presents performers, speaks to the audience, and generally keeps the event moving. An MC may also tell jokes or anecdotes, use rhyming presentation style and otherwise interact with and be included in and be some part of the performance. The MC sometimes also acts as the protocol officer during an official state function.
The Master of Ceremonies is responsible for ensuring that the program/event runs smoothly, runs on time and that all important people at the event are introduced in a complimentary, professional manner. Being a successful Master of Ceremonies requires, preparation, a friendly manner and ability to adjust to/ad lib as necessary to ensure a successful event
can handle audiences. It means that you have the gift of being able to "think on your feet" so that you can react quickly in an emergency. (An 'emergency' arises when the lead entertaining act has not arrived, when the main speaker falls ill and has to be taken home, or when the air-conditioning ceases to function and the microphones don't work!)."
Letitia Baldrige's Complete Guide to Executive Manners, Rawson Associates,