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The Dos and Don’ts of Speaking with a Microphone

The do's and don'ts of using a microphone

Using a mic correctly can be the difference between being viewed as an amateur or professional…

Public speaking can be daunting for most people. And to make matters worse, there’s the microphone. For those who are not used to making presentations or giving speeches, the mic can be quite intimidating. Is it on or off? How do I switch it on? Should I speak in my normal voice or should I speak louder. What if I want to cough or sneeze? Can I just dispense with the microphone?

Well, as an entrepreneur, you are bound to have to make presentations to pitch for your business. Or you may be invited to a conference to speak on your business or industry. Therefore, you need to be confident about speaking with a microphone so as to present yourself at your professional best. We give some dos and don’ts about speaking with a mic. It’s quite simple really!

Know what type of microphone you are using.


Know how your mike works: There are different types of mics so make sure you know how your mic works. Fiddling around with the mic before you give your speech or presentation could make you look fidgety and uncomfortable. If you are using a lavaliere mike, you need to dress appropriately so that the mike can be clipped onto you at a suitable spot. If it’s too low, you may not be heard and if it’s too high, you could end up being too loud. Most importantly, know how to switch off and turn on the mic.

A sound check: You may not always have the privilege of doing one, but if you can, it would stand you in good stead. You can then familiarize yourself with the settings on your mic and your surroundings.

Have someone to act as an audience: When you do your sound check, get someone to listen to you. They can walk around the room and check if you are clear, if you are too loud, or if you cannot be heard at the back.

Know the type of microphone you are using. Test the mike before speaking: When you get on stage to speak, make sure your mike is turned on. However, don’t hit it on top or blow into it; give a gentle tap on the side to check.

Mind your posture: This is important when you are speaking in public and when you are speaking into a microphone. If you are hunched, it squeezes your lungs and stomach and affects your voice. Stand or sit straight so that you are breathing easily.

Remember to turn off your mic: Once you’ve finished your speech or presentation, do turn off the microphone. This is especially so if you are wearing a lavaliere mic. You don’t want the audience hearing unguarded remarks!

Don't keep your mouth too close to the microphone.


Distance matters: Do not get too close to the microphone. You will end up distorting your voice. Plus, the mic will pick up every sound – your breathing, and the pops and hisses of the words you pronounce. Also, if you are too close, it can be too loud for audience comfort. Standing too close can create feedback and screeching which can be quite annoying!

No coughing into the mic: It happens to the best of us; as we are presenting, we get this urge to cough or sneeze! It’s okay, it’s human. However, turn your face away from the mic so that your cough or sneeze isn’t amplified into the audience’s ears!

You don’t need to yell: The mic is there to amplify your voice, so just speak in your normal tone. If you are talking about a subject you are passionate about and you find yourself raising your voice, distance yourself a bit from the mike.

Just familiarize yourself with the kind of mic you are speaking into. Be aware of your surroundings. And follow the dos and don’ts listed above for a seamless speech or presentation!