As speakers, we often focus on the presentation, as well we should. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore the other details of the evening. Take microphones, for instance. Before I developed the Solomon’s Beloved sketch, I never thought much about microphones. Now microphones top my list of details to discuss with the event planner.
I’d been speaking for a few years, but had only spoken about 10 times when a friend invited me to speak at her church. They offered what–at that time–had been a large speaking fee. The only thing they specifically requested was the topic: a presentation on a woman’s life from childhood to senior woman. Prior to this time, I’d already had a friend draw a picture of Solomon’s Beloved as described in the book Song of Solomon for a presentation on marriage. But it was at this point that I came up with the idea of creating a humorous sketch of his woman, using verses from Solomon’s most controversial book to bring his descriptions to life. The final result was the Solomon’s Beloved vignette, which is now the most-often requested part of my speaking invitations.
I couldn’t wait to present this new program! I hired a crafty friend to sew, glue, and Velcro the pieces, making sure each part could be put on and taken off quickly onstage, allowing me to continue the real message of the presentation. I was so excited!
As I prepared for the event, I remembered to ask the event planner for a table onstage for the costume. I reminded her that I was short and would do better with a music stand rather than a large podium. I asked for helpers to help me sell my newly-released book. What I didn’t think about was my microphone.
When I arrived, one of the first things to be done was a sound check. The nice sound man handed me the lavalier microphone and I clipped it onto my lapel without any problems. After all, I was an experienced speaker, right? I finished the sound check and turned to set up the onstage table for my costumes. Then it hit me–I couldn’t use a lavalier microphone if I was going to be putting on and taking off costumes in the middle of my presentation!
At first I wasn’t too concerned, after all, I could use a simple handheld mic. But what I didn’t know was that because of the location of this event, this was the ONLY mic available. After trying a few options, we came up with the only one that worked: clipping the lavalier onto my earring. Yes, you read right. I stood before those ladies, trying to deliver a fun presentation with a deep message, while having a microphone clipped to my earring!
Here are some other microphone tips to consider:
- If you’re going to be using an earpiece mic, be sure you don’t wear dangling earrings. They can bounce against the wiring, causing static.
- If you’re using a lavalier (lapel) microphone, don’t wear long necklaces that can also bounce against the mic when you move.
- And with a lavalier mic, you don’t want to pat your chest. That, too, will send a crackling sound through the system.
- If you’ll be using any kind of body-pack, remember it needs a pocket or waistline to clip to. And also note that body-packs don’t always have a clip at all, which then means you have to put it INSIDE your pants if you don’t have a pocket!
- If you’re going to be using props, that means you’ll be picking up and putting things down and possibly putting things on and taking them off. A handheld mic would require you to pick up and put down the microphone each time, which can be quite distracting.
- If they have a mic attached to the podium, that means you’ll be tied to the podium.
With so many options available, can you see how important it is to discuss microphones with your event planner?
A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3 (The Living Bible)
Grace and peace,
(Photo courtesy of Mr Lightman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)