How to Use a Microphone

There will come a time in most people’s lives that they will have to work with a microphone. And when I say work with, I mean speak into a microphone. This can cause some serious problems for those that are shy or suffer from abject terror at the mere idea of standing before an audience of more than, say, the family pet. If you are in fact on of these people, or just someone who could use a little help making better presentations, this article should make the process easier and hopefully less painful

The first step in the process is to rehearse ahead of time whenever possible. If you’re at a wedding reception and are put on the spot, rehearsal is not an option. So just relax and think happy thoughts. Thoughts like “Hey! There’s an open bar waiting for me after I’m finished” or “I so can’t wait to get my hands on the Best Man’s throat after he’s had a few drinks.” Having said that, let’s get back to preparation. The more comfortable you are with your material, the easier it will be to incorporate the aforementioned technology.

Since I brought up the subject of technology, now is a good time for a terminology primer. When working with microphones, you will sound way cooler if you can use the correct terms when communicating with the technical folks. The most common type of microphone is of the hand held variety. This is what you hold, in your hand, when speaking. The hand held can be either wired (meaning with a cord) or wireless (using radio frequencies to transmit the sound to a receiver). So far so good? The second most used microphone is a lapel microphone, also called a lavaliere, lav, or clip-on mic. This is what you wear attached to a tie , shirt, jacket,  or lapel, hence the name. This microphone will usually be small and unobtrusive. The lavaliere can also be wired or wireless. If wireless, it will be attached to a (hopefully) small body pack that holds the batteries and transmitter.

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