By Tom Gilmartin
Here are some tips for those of you speaking at a conference where you will be using microphones, powerpoint presentations and other AV equipment. Following these tips will ensure your presentation is well heard and well seen.
Depending on what has been ordered by your conference organiser there are many types of microphones available. We’ll outline the types and benefits of the most common.
Lapel or Lavalier Microphones are the most popular mics for presenters that like to use the stage and walk around a bit. These mics clip onto the lapel or tie and a body pack needs to be clipped to a belt. Lapel mics can’t be pushed as high in volume than other mics as their position below the presenters chin makes them vulnerable to feedback (squeals and hums). Because of this they do not suit presenters with quiet voices and the presenter is unable walk to close to the PA speakers.
A couple of tips when using lapel microphones:
- Ensure you are wearing clothing appropriate for the mic. Remember the body pack needs to be clipped to a belt or waist band of trousers. Wear a closed collared dress shirt or blouse, wide necklines mean that the mic is clipped to far from the mouth and make it difficult to properly EQ (equalise) the mic.
- When speaking with a lapel mic always project your voice. Speak so that the front row of people would be able to hear you without a mic, this allows for a much better tone from the mic. A lot of people hear their voice and immediately quieten, this results in a battle for the mic operator to keep the volume up.
Headset Microphones are used instead of lapel mics a lot. They use the same body pack as a lapel but they have a thin wire that goes over the ears and a small mic is positioned close to the mouth (think about Madonna or Britney Spears mics except more discrete).
Because of the position of the mic they have a much better sound than lapel mics.
Hand Held Microphones
Handheld Microphones are often referred to as “roaming mics” although that term could apply to the above mics as well as they are all wireless.
Handheld microphones produce the best possible volume and tone as the speaker holds it to their mouth and speaks directly into it. These mics are especially good for quiet presenters and for Q&A sessions.
Lecturn Microphones are fitted to a lecturn and point up towards the presenter. They allow the presenter to operate their presentation or read from notes on the lecturn.
Because the lecturn is usually shared by many presenters make sure you position the microphone towards your mouth to get the best possible volume and tone. The microphones are flexible and are easily bent into position.
Until next time…