Are you using the handheld microphone to your advantage? As a public speaker, you need to learn to use the microphone effectively so it can capture your voice in the best way so your message can fill the room.

Many a time, I’ve seen speakers at our chapter meetings refuse to use the microphone. They’d shout, “You can hear me, right?” And then proceed to shouting at the audience for the rest of their speeches. 

Understand that the microphone amplifies your voice and is hence a tool that helps you get your voice heard. The next time you are at our toastmaster chapter meeting, compare the sound of someone who uses the microphone with someone who doesn’t. You will hear for yourself how a microphone makes one sound more powerful and professional. 

To ensure that you use the microphone effectively, here are three tips: 

  1. Arrive early at the venue to do a sound check. Do not tap on the microphone to test the sound. It’s a sensitive piece of equipment and tapping might spoil it. Test the sound by speaking or doing a light scratch on the microphone head. Ensure that people at the back of the room can hear you well.
  2. Speak with a strong, clear voice. When using a microphone, don’t assume that you can speak softly. Speak with as strong and clear a voice as you would when not using a microphone.
  3. Listen to your voice coming out from the speakers. Gauge if that’s the volume and quality that you want. In some venues, the speakers might be angled towards the audience in such a way that you can hardly hear yourself on the stage. So, if possible, have someone else listen to your voice in the audience and give you feedback on the quality of your voice coming out from the speakers.
  4. Handle the microphone properly.

Hold the microphone around its handle. Where you hold the microphone affects the quality of the sound picked up. You might have seen rappers cup the head of the microphone. Don’t do that as it increases the risk of acoustic feedback. 

Hold it about three fingers away from your mouth at about a 45 degree angle with its butt end pointing towards the floor. Do not hold the microphone parallel to the ground. It’ll block part of your face. 

Face the microphone towards your mouth at all times. Dynamic microphones (one of the most commonly used microphones) only pick up sounds coming from the front of the microphone head within a certain distance.