A speaker can prepare and deliver a great presentation. However, if people can’t hear the message, it’s like having a table full of pizza and no one able to eat it. The microphone is every speakers friend or worst enemy.

Have you noticed how most people have microphone phobia? They stand too far back or don’t speak directly into it. Do you do this? Unfortunately this can hinder the audience from hearing us adequately.

Here are three public speaking tips for using a microphone properly.

Microphone Tip #1: Test right before the event

Several weeks ago I spoke at an event where the microphone was working 20 minutes before hand, but then was shut off in the back of the room prior to my speech kickoff. To make matters worse, there was no sound person in sight!

What did I do? I spoke a little louder for a few minutes, until the sound person returned. Now, I like to check the microphone 20 minutes before a presentation and again right before the presentation.

Get on the same page with the sound person and run through a live check for volume, etc. This is especially important with hand held microphones as we need to find out how far to hold it from our mouth.


Microphone Tip #2: Stand close to the microphone

Many microphones have limited pick up distance. You almost have to eat the microphone. Have you heard the squealing feedback that sometimes comes across a sound system? That actually means you are too far away from the microphone. Move closer so the sound guy can turn down the microphone and reduce the feedback.

Microphone Tip #3: Turn it on

I love lapel mikes. They free up my hands and give me freedom of movement. However, they have two drawbacks:

First, I have to remember to turn them on.

Second, it can make for some interesting and embarrassing moments if we forget to turn them off.

At college their was a professor who forgot to shut off the lapel mike when he went to take a restroom break. Imagine his surprise when he walked back in the room and wondered why everyone was snickering and trying to act normal!

The microphone is a speakers best friend. It helps save our voice and helps the audience listen to our message. Apply these tips and we can make the microphone our friend.

(C) Arlen Busenitz. All Rights Reserved


Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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