How to use a microphone effectively?

Original photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

I was very fortunate that DTM Paisal Sae-Lor taught me the effective way to use a microphone so I am paying it forward by sharing it here. 

Microphone Positioning


Not Recommended

This sounds very counter-intuitive but when you hold your microphone, do not hold it in front of your mouth. The reason is when you pronounce sounds that have pushing sounds, it will create some uncomfortable "puh" sounds. 


It is recommended that you position your microphone below your mouth. How far below your mouth depends on the volume that you want your audience to hear which I will cover in the next point. 



In the best-case scenario, you will be able to test your microphone in order to increase or decrease the volume of your microphone. What if you need to get on the stage and directly speak? You still can control the volume of the microphone while you are on stage. The key is the distance between your microphone and your mouth. 


Not Recommended

A lot of inexperienced speakers tend to move their head instead of their upper body. This will create an unpleasant listening experience as the volume of your voice will suddenly drop and your audience will miss points that you are trying to make. 


If you want to move to face your audience, it is recommended for you to move your upper body. This way you will be able to still make eye contact while the whole listening will still sound smooth. This motion is unnatural and it will take some time to get used to but with practice, it will be second nature to you. 


Wireless Microphones

Not Recommended

I have seen people who like to hold microphones at the end of it. If you are using a wired microphone, there is no issue there but if you are holding a wireless microphone, your sound might be on and off due to your hand covering the transmitter. 


The recommended position to hold your microphone is in the middle of the microphone. The reason is if you move your hand, the microphone on top will pick up less noise and you are not blocking the transmitter. 


Not Recommended

We live in a digital age. Most people nowadays take notes on their phone so it is natural that they take their phones on stage just in case they forget something. If you are not recording it, you might not notice any difference but if you are recording it, your video might have some noise in it. At a close distance, the transmission of the phone signal might interfere with the transmission of the signal of your wireless microphone. 


If you need to have some notes with you because you are afraid that you might mispronounce someone's name, my recommendation is to use the good old card in palm. While this might look less high tech but you will definitely sound more professional because of the lack of noise in the recording. 


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