by Susan Berkley
If you are speaking in any venue that is larger than an average sized classroom or conference room, I strongly suggest using a microphone to prevent vocal strain. There are two types of microphones you are likely to encounter. The first is a lavaliere mic that clips to your lapel or collar. This type of microphone usually has a battery pack, which you attach to your waistband, allowing you to move about freely. When wearing a lavaliere, speak conversationally with the same amount of volume and vocal projection you would use to address a small group. The amplifier will do the rest. Make sure you turn your mic off when you are not on the platform to avoid sharing private comments with the rest of the audience.
The second type of microphone is hand held or fixed to a stand or podium. With this type of microphone, popping can be a problem. Popping is caused when "plosives" like 'p','t', and 'd' are spoken and the air from your mouth hits the mic. To prevent popping, position the mic about a hands width away and slightly below your mouth so that the air from your mouth does not hit the microphone. Speaking above the mic will also help prevent nasal noise. Keeping the mic about a hands width away from your mouth will also help prevent a "boom-y" sound.
Reprinted with permission from the "VoiceCoach ezine" by Susan Berkley. For a free subscription visit http://www.greatvoice.com. Susan Berkley is president of The Great Voice Company and author of "Speak To Influence: How To Unlock The Hidden Power of Your Voice" available from 800-333-8108 or your favorite bookseller.