Don’t Be THAT Speaker: The Microphones

I am very choosy about what conferences or workshops I understand. I make decisions on whether to attend primarily on two premises:


1.There is a lot I can learn there and,
2.Whatever I learn is going to significantly enrich me in a pertinent way.

That’s right, I have a Conference Attending Manifesto… However, now and then I meet a speaker, whom is worth listening to but some stuff they do in their delivery annoys the living daylight out of me, I lose the beauty of the message because of the delivery. Bad delivery by a speaker does not help building what  Michael Hyatt calls a platform. I highly recommend you get his book: Platform.


Every speaker must make sure that the beauty and wealth of their message does not get lost in their delivery


What I am about to share I find very annoying and highly recommend every platform communicator to consider, to avoid being that speaker. You know the speaker that ends being talked about as a bad speaker and not because they do not know what they are talking about but because they are bad at it. Besides the 28 Random Things To Always Check, you must get one of the tools platform communicators use often right. Let’s focus on microphones…

microphones are critical tools for platform communication but are often thought about the least, negatively affecting delivery  || image by spDuchamp | cc
microphones are critical tools for platform communication but are often thought about the least, negatively affecting delivery || image by spDuchamp | cc

The Wand

When you use a handheld, remember it is a microphone not a wand. The microphone is there to help your audience to hear you. It enables the propagation of your message. When you wave it about it affects how your voice goes out and your audience can miss parts of your sentences if you are waving the microphone. If you use a lot of hand gestures when you speak take extra care.

keep the microphone in front of your mouth, not around it

The Kiss

Do not kiss or put the microphone on your lips or in your mouth. This does not help sound, it merely muffles it and leaves unnecessary bacteria for the next guy. (If you used a stinky microphone after someone has practically been kissing it, you will know what I mean).

Hold the microphone (or place it on a stand) at a 30-degree tilt and at a distance of about 15cm


Clip On

If you are going to use a clip on microphone, place it is where it is not going to rub against other articles of clothing, which can create noise. Trust the sound guy. He will place the microphone where it is best. Try not to move it about. If you do have to move it, place it about 25cm from your mouth. They are generally designed to pick up sound in that range.



Do not breathe heavily into the microphone. If you need to take a deep breath, move the microphone from your mouth. In the case of clip-on or headset microphones cover them or turn away from the microphone if you have to. I know you might be nervous but do not annoy your audience while you are at.

respect your audience and your work enough to take everything about it seriously


The Drum and Trumpet

The microphone is not a drum; do not beat it. Do not blow into the microphone either. This can damage microphones.

simply talk into the microphone to check if it is on

Ask the sound guys if you need to switch the microphone on when you get up to speak and ask how to do so if you do not know


The Rapper

When you are done speaking, do not throw the microphone down. (Eminem is an exception. If you are Eminem, ignore this). Gently place back on the podium, microphone stand or hand it back to the sound guy or stage manager. Mute or switch off the microphone before you put it down. Again, if you can, ask the sound guys what you must do with the microphone when you are done with it.

always consider how to best care equipment; be a good steward


Give Back

If you use a headset or clip on microphone remember to give it back when you are done. Because these are generally attached to you, it is easier to walk away with them. Ask for help from the sound guy to make sure that you take it off without damaging it.

if it is not yours do not take it with you



The sound guys will love you. PS: they are also the guys who will determine whether you sound nice or crappy ;-)

If you haven’t already, I recommend you also check out:


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Any questions on microphones when speaking? What annoys you most about speakers when it comes to microphones?


Published by Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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  1. Really informative. I don’t wanna be that speaker. I guess every move the speaker make sends a signal to the audience..

  2. Good one. Wish tons of pastors,who are constant public speakers, would read this blog post slowly and then act accordingly.