One thing is for sure, it takes more practice and technique on how to use a microphone correctly than most people think. As a leader in the conference interpreting and language services industry for over 17 years, we at Spanish Solutions have seen the good, the bad…and the ugly.
We’ve compiled a short list of the Best Microphone Tips for Public Speakers and Conference Interpreters. These practical tips and recommendations for public speakers and conference interpreters will ensure the message gets across effectively and professionally. They are as follows:
Microphones Are Sensitive…Stop Shouting!
Microphones, although ranging in many styles and designs, all have one thing in common: they are extraordinarily sensitive. There is no need to shout or raise your voice. Usually a sound engineer will be present to control your levels so it’s best to allow them to control your sound, and not you. Speak casually. Speaking loudly into the microphone, not only distorts the sound quality but may hurt your vocal chords, too. On the other hand, if you whisper your words, your message will lack power and authority.
Don’t EVER Tap the Microphone!
Marcela Lopez, President of Spanish Solutions, states “In the 17 years we have been in business, this is probably one of my biggest pet peeves! Never tap the microphone to check for sound or make sure it’s on. Same thing applies for blowing or whistling into the microphone. Remember that you are not just tapping, blowing or whistling into your microphone…interpreters (who are wearing headsets) are listening to these piercing sounds shooting straight into their ears!” So please, be a good human…and NEVER tap, blow, whistle or make any other irrelevant sounds that are not WORDS into the mic.
Do Not Have a “Mic-Drop” Moment
Accidents happen. Yes, we’re only human after all but when a mic drops, know in your heart that you really, really could have avoided it. If your microphone is on, consider it a living and breathing entity! Dropping or bumping a hot mic will undoubtedly create major problems in your conference. For one, the initial shock factor of the loud thump and feedback will likely cause quite a stir with the audience, who by now, are probably making a run for it. Secondly, the interpreters (who are wearing headsets) may potentially suffer from hearing loss damage despite any hearing protection that may be used.
Don’t Eat Your Mic
Singers are often told to “eat the mic” by sound engineers and producers but please don’t take this literally, my dear interpreters and public speakers. We never want you to eat the mic. In this industry, as explained by microphone technique wiz, Joel Falconer of Methodic Studios, “when you are told to eat the microphone, you might be surprised to learn that this does not mean you should literally eat it. Keep your hunger in check with a burger and keep the microphone about one or two inches from your mouth.” In the world of microphones, this really is “eating it”. Don’t let the mic touch your lips.
Warm Up Your Voice
Your microphone is an extension of what you are communicating. Vocalizing and warming up your voice is necessary, along with breathing exercises, to convey your message effectively. Warming up your voice before a presentation will prevent vocal fatigue and condition your vocal chords. Remember that your voice is your instrument and must be treated with love and care.
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