Friday, June 05, 2009

Public Speaking: Mic The Audience

You may have killed! You may have had them rolling in the aisles!
You may have gotten a 3 minute standing ovation! . . . but your
tape of this event might stink.

I have seen so many tapes ruined (including my own) because the
presenter didn't make sure there was a microphone recording
audience reactions. This isn't really a humor technique but it is
really important for humorous presenters for two reasons. 1. They
can better critique themselves after the event because they can
clearly hear what material worked and what didn't work. 2. They
can get good demonstration materials or make salable products out
of their recordings.

Nothing sounds worse than your funny line delivered and then
muffled or non existent audience reaction to it. This is because
of the fine noise canceling microphones that many people wear on

I guess a really good sound engineer/editor could doctor the tape
up with canned laughter, but what a hassle to do a perfect job at
this! And what if someone finds out which they will if the
addition of laughter isn't flawless. It's much easier to do it
right the first time and put a microphone(s) in the audience.

If you are taping yourself, you'll need a portable mixing board
(any time you have more than one microphone going into the same
device, you'll need a mixing board). You'll also want an
omnidirectional microphone that pics up all the laughter and
comments people are yelling at you . . . .(well maybe not if
they're heckling you :) ) Visit a music store that caters to
bands for help picking out your equipment.

If you are being paid to be there, you need to nicely inquire
about the A/V and depending on how much clout you have see if you
can jockey for the extra microphone(s) in the audience. Even
offer to pay for it yourself if it means you'll get a better

This little bit of extra effort will mean a big difference in the
quality and usability of your recordings . . . and hey . . .if
you bother with all this you better be funny.

Make Your Presentations The Best They Can Be!

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