presentation skills, public speaking

PUBLIC SPEAKING: How to Use a Microphone

Use of Microphone in Public Speaking

In public speaking, microphone is an essential instrument. For a public speaker or a presenter, a microphone is a tool to strengthen your voice. It is not an alternative for good vocal expression. It is not capable of making a dull voice interesting. It can only make it louder.
When you are using a microphone, you still have to use your full energy to involve the whole audience and create your identity as a public speaker. Some speakers under pressure may lose expression in their voice. Rehearsing and practicing on microphone can be the best way to experiment with volume, pitch, and rhythm to achieve best possible expression. Use vocal variety to ensure that your audience understands and feels the tone of your message.

When you are getting training on public speaking and presentation skills, you cannot afford to miss the know-how of usage of microphone. Here are some tips on using a microphone:

  1. Avoid using a microphone in small gathering. They are usually required when you are addressing more than 100 people.
  2. Microphone can be used in small gathering of 35-50 people depending on the venue; the size of the room, its furniture, the carpet, curtains, height of the ceiling.
  3. If at any time you are confused whether you need the mike or not, go ahead and use it.  By doing so, you will have the set up and you would have the option to switch it off if you feel that it is not needed.
  4. Use a hand held whenever possible as you have more control over your voice while using them. Hold them below your mouth.
  5. Do a sound check. You may ask a technician to set up the sound system and actively control the levels while you speak. It should be seen that levels are appropriate for the size of the room and the audience. In some cases, a technician may set up the system and leave the rest to you. You would have to do the sound check yourself.
  6. Learn how the microphone works. You must know how to turn it on/off. This is necessary to avoid any private comment to be overheard by the audience.
  7. If there is a battery, start your public speaking topic or the presentation with a new battery and have an extra one handy.  You must know how to replace it.
  8. Practice with the microphone before you begin. Test it by saying some words.
  9. In public speaking, you need to stand with good posture. Enable your voice in the microphone by standing straight, aligning your head with your spine.
  10. Twisting or bending the neck gives your voice a disadvantage.
  11. When you are giving a demonstration of a product, you should use a clip-on/hands free microphone.
  12. Your dress is a primary concern when using a clip-on microphone. Wear something with a collar or tie so the mike can be easily clipped to it. A front open jacket or a blouse can do.
  13. Clip the clip-on onto your dress before you get on the stage.
  14. Lavaliere or clip-on mikes are generally placed 8 to 10 inches below the chin, in the center.
  15. Instead of looking at the microphone, look at the audience to catch their attention.
  16. Practice speaking and holding a mike at the same time while using a handheld microphone. Transfer the handheld mike from one hand to the other naturally.
  17. Grip the mike with the whole hand and not with just fingers so as to give it the best look.
  18. Watch the speakers before you on how well is their microphone projecting?  If you think there is something you can learn from them, then learn it.
  19. When it’s your chance to take the podium, you’ve already tested the mike so no need to tap on it or blow into it. Need not to say “Can you hear me?”.  Just begin your talk.
  20. When using a microphone, energize your voice but speak normally.  Don’t speak into the mike, speak past it.
  21. Crowding the microphone will disfigure your posture as well as your voice. Do not get too close to the mike.

In public speaking or in a presentation or in any kind of communication, your first and the foremost goal is to reach your audience. The speaking elements you put into your delivery have everything to do with reaching to that goal. But you must remember that the microphone is only a tool. It won’t turn a poor speech delivery or a presentation into a good one.

All the above techniques are taught and can be practiced in public speaking and presentation skills course offered by Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking. In this course you will be trained in all those things which stop you from growing in your career. This is the best course for people having problems regarding their communication skills, presentation skills, interacting with people and in presenting themselves in front of public. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com

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