Public speaking can be one of the scariest activities in a person's life, so
using a microphone is sometimes a rare event for people. There may come
a time, though, when you're asked to step up and say something in public
using a microphone, such as making announcements, or introducing
dancers at a showcase or hafla. Below are a few tips, but the main things to
remember are not to point the mike at a speaker, or puff at the mike.

Hold the microphone vertically, straight up and down, about an inch in
front of your chin. You want it just below your lips and your airstream, so
that you're not blowing on the mike when saying words with P in them.
This avoids that popping sound.

If your voice is too loud in the speakers, move the mike away from your
mouth a little bit. If it's too soft, move it closer. If you don't hear anything,
see if there's a switch on the mike you can flip to ON. If it was off, flip it
back to OFF when you're done speaking.

Don't stand in front of a speaker, or point the mike at a speaker. Doing
so can result in that loud, annoying feedback tone. If you do get
feedback, turn the mike off or point it away from a speaker. Don't cover
it with your hand.

It's okay to take a moment before you start speaking. Speak slowly
and clearly. If you can, look at the audience as you speak, and take
turns with each part of the room. It's okay to pause a moment at any
time instead of saying, "um, uh, like, you know". Just pretend you're
doing it for effect. If you say something that can inspire laughter or
applause, pause a moment to allow the audience to do so.

Don't plug in or unplug the microphone while the amplifier is on and the
volume is up. This can result in a loud boom sound, can damage
equipment and will disturb the audience. The sound man will glare at

Microphones are fragile. Don't bang them on anything. Not even your
head. Don't swing the mike by its cable. The sound man will glare at

Most importantly, don't try public speaking if you're inebriated. heh.

- Dave Goodman
Microphone Technique
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