Microphone Skills

Microphone do's and don'ts

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The microphone has been for many a weapon of mass destruction, well, more like right-in-front-of-the-mass self destruction. However, as a well-sharpened tool it can curve your way into the hearts and minds of many.


× Tap or hit the microphone to check if it is working
× Blow into the microphone to test it
× Ask “Can you hear me in the back?” or “Is this thing on?”
× Lean too close to it
× Touch it with your lips
× Use it to point at your audience
× Wave, swing or move it around as you talk
× Point it towards the loud-speakers/amplifiers
× Address the mic-technician over the microphone when the audience is present
× Begin with a whimper, sigh or throat clearing

“As long as there are human rights to be defended; as long as there are great interests to be guarded; as long as the welfare of nations is a matter for discussion, so long will public speaking have its place.”  -William Jennings Bryan


+ Hold the microphone like an ice-cream
+ Test the microphone (or have it checked) in advance
+ Leave it on its stand if sharing it with others
+ Ensure the green mic-light is on before you start talking
+  Keep the microphone always pointed towards your mouth, even as you turn around  
+ Keep your mouth-to-mic distance fairly constant throughout your talk
+ Have spare batteries; and long cables
+ Project; speak up. Yes! Even with a microphone

“There are certain things in which mediocrity is not to be endured, such as poetry, music, painting, public speaking” - Jean de la Bruyere

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Copyright © Caroline Nderitu-Benjamin, 2012
All rights reserved