Payal Chaddha: The Charismatic Emcee Redefining Event Experiences

Read this exclusive interview with Payal Chaddha, a celebrated emcee and TV personality, as she shares her insights into the world of hosting


In the vibrant realm of emceeing and anchoring, Payal Chaddha shines as a dynamic and captivating professional, enchanting audiences across a broad spectrum of events. With her versatility as an emcee, she effortlessly tailors her hosting style to resonate with diverse audiences, whether it's at corporate gatherings or government shows.

In this exclusive interview, Chaddha unveils her wealth of experiences, invaluable tips, and insights into the ever-evolving role of an emcee in the digital age. Join us as she delves into the art of creating memorable event experiences and navigating the intricate nuances of engaging with audiences in today's dynamic event landscape.


Can you share your journey and how you became a professional emcee and anchor? 

My journey started when I was 21 and I went to Bombay. I became a Video Jockey in Music Asia and did a couple of serials with Manish Goswami for Zee TV and then I did a couple of ads. I came back to Delhi and joined Coke as their in-house emcee. Coke used to sponsor shows, I used to host those shows, especially the concerts. That’s how I came to know about the event industry and I became an anchor.

You've hosted a wide range of events for various brands. What has been the most memorable event in your career, and what made it special? 

Recently, I represented India in the World Women's Boxing Championship where 65 countries participated. I hosted for India for the opening ceremony. It was very tough, the reason being that there were 65 countries, and their name had to be pronounced correctly on live broadcast. So for me, every word really mattered. Any country's name, if pronounced wrong, would have shattered my career.

Another one was when I did a show with Dr. Abdul Kalam that was related to converting plastic into energy. Dr. Abdul Kalam praised me on stage and then he shook hands with me especially. That was one of the best moments for me.

Confidence and charisma are essential qualities for an emcee. What tips can you share with aspiring emcees to develop these attributes? 

You need to be yourself, don't try to imitate anyone else. There are thousands of emcees and If you try to imitate someone, you will never know your USP and your charm. If you’re imitating some other anchor or some other personality, it's not you. It's very important in the event industry that you need to be yourself. If you're true to yourself, it shows on stage, then you are clear with what you need to do and how you need to do it. When you're doing you imitating someone, in the back of your head it's always there, if they were here, how would they have done it. It's not you who is thinking.

In the age of digital events, how has the role of an emcee evolved, and what do you think makes a virtual event engaging and successful? 

An emcee plays a very vital role, whether virtual or on-ground. Irrespective of how lavish the setup is, irrespective of how many rehearsals you've done for a launch, in the end, it is the anchor who brings about that grace in the event and connects the dots to make it smooth. It's the emcee’s face in front of the public, the audience is watching them performing. If you put any other person on stage, you will always find that niche and rhythm to be missing. All that plays a very vital role even in a virtual event, our beat needs to be the same. We need to be enthusiastic about the show when we can't see anyone.

I personally feel as an anchor, that a virtual event cannot be entirely successful because you can't connect with people. The major loss is the connectivity and a massive quality for an anchor is to connect with people. In virtual, you're connecting with the cameras, on-ground you're connecting with people. On-ground gives you a different kick when people are actually applauding for what you're saying and they're actually doing what you're asking them to engage with.

What's your approach to understanding and connecting with diverse audiences at different events, ranging from corporate gatherings to luxury brand launches? 

The most important thing is understanding the profile of people who are coming in. With government shows, the profile of the people attending is very different. You need to be very straight with them, up to the point, up to the mark, not saying too much or going beyond your script. It's very scripted with government events.

In the case of launches, the connection is with the media and you're representing a brand. You must be very thorough with the brand, and what you are talking about, do your homework about the brand, do a little bit of research, understand what the brand represents, what is their motto and accordingly connect with the audience on that level. You need to have that knowledge to communicate with them.

How do you stay updated with the latest industry trends and incorporate them into your hosting style? 

Thanks to Instagram, thanks to Everything Experiential, you people really every now and then keep on taking interviews and putting it on WhatsApp and that keeps us updated on what's happening around the industry, how we should proceed further, and what the new trends are.

Effective communication is key for an emcee. Could you provide some insights into how you maintain a seamless flow during events and manage unexpected situations? 

I always take it that no event can go smoothly without a little bit of up and down. Whenever I have to go on stage, I always make sure that my script is at least a day or two days prior in my hand. I make sure I have searched about the brand, I take the pointers out so that even if there is a situation where something has gone up or down, I have those pointers to talk about. You can't be mindless and clueless. For me, there's always only one point of contact backstage.

The more hands you give on deck, the more people get involved while you're going on stage, and it creates chaos. Have one person whom you are connected with, who's going to navigate you through the show, let you know tell you any developments. Even if there's a change, that person is the only one who will give you that. Whenever there is any goof-up, we try to cover it with those pointers. The people don't know what’s on your script, you are the one who's sailing the ship. If your facial expressions are as calm as they can be, people can never come to know that something has gone wrong. That is the key.

Emceeing involves a mix of scripted content and improvisation. How do you strike the right balance to keep the audience engaged and entertained? 

I am more of a non-scripted emcee. The script for me is only when it comes to announcing major names or something about the brand's qualities that needs to be put across. Apart from that, I'm a non-scripted person. It is very spontaneous; it might be because I'm a life coach as well. I come across a lot of corporates for life coaching and that helps me to improvise. You need to understand that the people sitting there need a little bit of a boost in their confidence and trust.

So, through your acts and through your words, if you can bring that in them, that I think, is the best improvisation. You should know your work very well when you're going on stage for whom you're representing.

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