Microphone Shock

Oops! – Microphone Shock

Have you ever listened to someone use a microphone for the first time?  Do you remember the first time you used one?

Maybe you were at the Chamber of Commerce’s giant, annual, Bring a Guest Meeting.  The crowd was so big, that they rented a microphone for the occasion.  The meeting director said a few words of welcome and then it was time for each person to introduce themselves to the group.

Introductions, in particular YOUR introduction is the best moment of the meeting, right?  That’s when you get to tell the whole group about your fabulous products and services.

FearoftheMicrophone-KatieMunozBut if it was the first time you ever used a microphone, chances are that you didn’t past, “Hi!  My name is –,”  before you yanked the microphone away from your mouth, wondering what the heck caused all of that buzzing feedback.  Welcome to Microphone Shock.

If you were lucky, someone told you to hold the microphone back up to your mouth.  But if you were like most people, the sound was still so loud and strange and you pulled it away again.  If you did, then the group missed the BEST part of the meeting, YOUR introduction.  Darn!

Not everyone has the opportunity to use a microphone in private for the first time.  But a little knowledge can help you prepare for the experience.

Buzz… Buzz… Buzz…

Expect to hear a buzzing noise when you use a microphone.  It isn’t audio feedback.  It is mental feedback.  You are hearing your own words reflected back to you with a slight delay from the time that the words left your mouth.  Bizarre?  Absolutely.

When you speak into a microphone, it will sound very similar to giving a speech with a bucket on your head.

MicrophoneShock-KatieMunoz

The sound of your own voice booms back at you from every direction.  It sounds LOUD.

Expect to hear a buzzing noise when you use a microphone.  It isn’t audio feedback.  It is mental feedback.  You are hearing your own words reflected back to you with a slight delay from the time that the words left your mouth.  Bizarre?  Absolutely.

When you speak into a microphone, it will sound very similar to giving a speech with a bucket on your head.  The sound of your own voice booms back at you from every direction.  It sounds LOUD.

But that is just the experience that you are having.  It is NOT the experience that everyone else in the room is having.  You need to trust that this scary sound experience seems quite normal to everyone but you.

Don’t let Microphone Shock cause you to take the microphone away from your mouth.  If you can’t her that bizarre feedback, the microphone isn’t picking up your voice.

How to hold a microphone

Hold a microphone like an ice cream cone, close to your lips but not quite touching.   Think about staying prepared to lick the ice cream at any moment.  In other words, when you turn your head and your lips change location, you need to bring the microphone along on the turn too.

PracticeWithMicrophone-KatieMunozCarrying a hand-held mic as you walk, limits your gestures, so it’s a good idea to practice your introduction (or seminar or workshop) while holding a mic.

Do I own a mic?  No.  But my electric toothbrush held upside down makes a great stand in.

If you want to avoid Microphone Shock, practice your speech loudly into the base of an electric toothbrush, while wearing a bucket on your head and thinking about ice cream.

If you actually do this I can guarantee you two things.  First that you’ll feel absolutely ridiculous.  Second, using a real microphone on a real stage will feel wonderfully normal by comparison.

Cheers!

Comments are closed.