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Tips for using a microphone.

For some using a microphone is one of the most daunting elements of giving a best man, maid of honour or father of the bride speech. Here are our top five tips for successful use of a microphone.

1. Make sure you actually need to use a microphone. If you are speaking to a small reception of say 50 people, you may not need a microphone at all. If you are able to confidently project your voice then consider doing that. Your judgement should be to choose whichever makes you sound best in the room rather than feeling you have to use the microphone or wanting to avoid it because it is unfamiliar.

2. A microphone isn’t a magic wand. It will help to make sure everyone in the room hears you but it’s still up to you to make sure the words you are saying are interesting and that you say them in an engaging manner. You still have to put some feeling into your delivery, vary your tone and pace to keep

3. Use your own voice. We’ve heard speakers put on a strange DJ voice just because they are using a microphone. Speak exactly as you would if you were talking to a table of friends in a loud pub. Use your full voice but don’t shout.

4. Back off the mic! If you are using a handheld microphone hold it in front of your chest rather than at your chin. That will avoid the hard sounds that happen when you talk directly into the microphone. You want to talk over the microphone, not into it as that creates feedback.

5. Practice! Practice with the microphone before your speech. Sneak into the room before everyone else and practice a few lines from your speech. Find out if you’re using a handheld, podium or a clip-on microphone. If it’s a clip-on microphone resist the urge to talk into your lapel but remember not to turn your head too much. If you know what sort of microphone you will be using, practice in advance (think back to when you sang into a shampoo bottle microphone in front of a mirror as a child). Finally, prepare a few throwaway words for the start of your speech (“can you hear me at the back?” for example) so that if there are any unexpected technical problems nothing of importance will be lost from the speech.

As well as offering a speech writing service for weddings and executive speeches we offer professional performance coaching. So if you need help, just get in touch.