"Louder, I can't hear you!" A brief guide to effective microphone technique

Have you ever heard that at a party you attended? Perhaps the guest of honor or a friend or family member was making a speech. Our outspoken audience member is not heckling but rather genuinely interested in hearing what is going on but frustration is getting the better of him. This could all have been avoided by using a more effective microphone technique.

The microphones that DJs use are close range microphones. They are designed to pick up sound at a close distance from the source. The reason for this is that there is often music playing in the background when a DJ or Emcee speaks and they need a microphone that is not going to pick up that background music and cause feedback. In order to be heard effectively one needs to be very close to the microphone. There is the time honored advice of "Put the mic on your chin" which is a good nugget to follow. The front of your chin :)

Politicians and others you see on TV will speak into a mic at a fair distance and still be heard. The microphone they are speaking into is a different kind that works effectively at a distance because they are not concerned with the background music causing feedback issue.

If speaking on a microphone at a Bar Mitzvah, Wedding, Corporate Event or any other event is in your future, do yourself a favor and put the microphone on your chin. Then you won't be hearing people say "Louder, I cand hear you!" and instead you'll hear the beautiful and sometimes unsettling sound of your own voice.

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