How to Speak into a Microphone | Public Speaking

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How do you speak into a microphone when you’re given the opportunity to stand up and speak, and perhaps pitch a new business? Well, the one thing you shouldn’t do is what I’m doing right now. If you’re holding a microphone, you can’t be gesturing with that hand. Because every time you do this you’re taking it out of the range, and you just frustrate people. The sound goes in and out. That’s a horrible thing to do.

Any time you’re given a microphone, realize every microphone’s a little bit different. You should always ask the person who gave it to you, whether it’s a technician at a speaking event, or a conference, or if you’re in a talk radio show, ask the producer. Ask them what is the best distance for you when you’re speaking to the microphone. For a lot of microphones, it’s about like this, the distance between your fingers when placed like that. But every microphone is a little bit different.

Now, there are certain microphones where they’re more sensitive than others. When you say the letter P, it causes an explosion of air, and you get that popping sound. Pop, pop, pop, Peter Piper picked. The letter P, the consonant sound P, can be difficult for microphones. If you are up close or you’re doing any sort of audio recording, be especially careful when you’re saying the letter P.

Also, realize if somebody gives you a microphone, it’s not for you. It’s for the audience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a speaker get up in front of 400 people, handed a microphone, and the speaker very arrogantly says, ‘oh that’s OK. I don’t need a microphone.’ Well, we know you don’t need a microphone. It’s for the audience for them to hear you. That way, people all the way in the back can see it. Sometimes perhaps you might be captured on video and audio for a webcast for people to see it later.

So, always take the microphone when you have a chance, and try to speak in a conversational tone. You do that, and you’ll be in good shape.

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