If you have to speak to a group of thirty or more audience members, you really should consider using a microphone. Whilst it is possible to project your voice adequately to a group of forty delegates and still be heard, the longer your presentation, the greater the strain will be on your vocal chords.
Using a microphone can indeed be daunting and can in fact, make or break your well rehearsed speech. There is an art to holding the microphone, and you need to be acquainted with the technology before you assume that using a microphone is child’s play! It certainly can shatter your confidence if you have not done your homework.
The most difficult type of microphone to use is the hand-held microphone as you need to angle the microphone correctly – without ‘spitting’ into it either. Be aware of what are known as ‘plosives’ – these are the sounds that literally explode if the microphone is too close to your mouth such as ‘p’s’ and ‘t’s’. The rule of thumb is to hold the microphone a fist’s length away from your mouth. Holding the microphone below your mouth does make you more vulnerable to ‘plosives’, and does reduce your volume. The best way to hold the microphone is like a rock-star – at a ninety degree angle to your mouth, however this is unnatural to maintain for the average speech so a compromise has to be reached. Do not expect the microphone to do all the work for you, you still have to project your voice!
Please do not begin your session by tapping the microphone and saying ‘Testing, testing!” as this will annoy your audience. Get to know your technology, and assume that the microphone has been handed to you in working order. You will soon realise if the microphone is not working!
Be aware of turning your head away from a standing microphone as your volume will be lost! And if you are using a hand-held microphone, do not use it as a prop for hand gestures.
The most comfortable type of microphone to use is a lavelier or lapel microphone, but remember to not pat yourself on the chest, cough or fiddle with your clothing when you are wearing this device.
We hope you have found this tips useful! For more information on presentation training, master of ceremonies assistance or one-on-one coaching contact us at The Presentation Clinic now.
For presentation skills training and personalised body language coaching, contact The Presentation Clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org.