Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to be Heard When Stepping Up to a Microphone

In my current business, most of the "talent" at the mic are executives given the role of Emcee or award winners asked to say a few words. As a Sound Engineer trying to control sound while many people step up to speak at a large audience event, I have a few suggestions:

  • Adjust the microphone, as you step to the podium, to about 6" to 10" from your mouth. The sound engineer will handle volume. But, adjust the mic to be the right distance for you!
  • You definitely do not want to get too close to the mic. It will pick up every puff and breath you take and sound terrible. 
  • Project when you speak. Talk with force and conviction. Using your soft spoken little girl or little guy voice will not work.
  • DO NOT tap the mic with your hand to check if it is "live"!! Instead, look at your sound engineer for a signal or sign that says, "yes, you are good to go."
  • If you are holding a wireless mic or wearing a lavalier or madonna mic, NEVER go near a speaker. The feedback will cause hearing loss!
  • Definitely perform a pre-show sound check. I can set levels and sound to be perfect for your time on-stage.
It is the little details that make or break an event for me and our crew. We want to deliver the best event, every time, for every person. Sound may be the most important thing within the experience.

If you want to be the best talent or recipient, consider... there is a crew of people trying to make you look really good in your moment! Our recommendations do make sense.