Mike Fright

    “Mike Fright,” Ensign, Aug. 1992, 72–73

    Mike Fright

    Before you give that talk in sacrament meeting, you should know the following things about a microphone:

    1. A microphone is a delicate, sensitive instrument. Don’t touch the head of the microphone while you are speaking.

    2. Never blow into a microphone. To test the sound system, snap your fingers in front of the microphone, or speak directly into it. Ideally, you should do this or have it done for you before the audience arrives.

    3. Learn how to adjust the microphone easily by practicing before the audience arrives. This will help you avoid excessive fumbling with the mike when you stand up to speak.

    4. Remember, when you speak before a microphone, your audience wants to see your face, not the mike. Do not adjust the microphone so that it covers your face. It should be positioned at chin or chest level.

    5. Train yourself to stand constantly at a given distance from the microphone as you are speaking. Doing this avoids both loud blasts of your voice if you are too close and fading away of your voice if you are not close enough.

    6. Speak into the microphone as you do into a telephone. Speak to your audience, not to the microphone. The microphone is simply the avenue through which your voice travels to reach your listeners.

    7. Remember that the microphone amplifies every sound. Be careful not to rattle your notes or papers. Speak in your normal voice, not yelling or speaking too loudly. However, speak out clearly, expressively, and thoughtfully. (See LDS Communications Manual, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982, pp. 5–6.)

    8. Loudness is not intensity. A microphone will give your voice volume, but it will not put conviction into your voice. Try to speak with a normal degree of variation and emphasis, not in a monotone.

    9. If there has been no chance to pretest the microphone before speaking into it and if your voice appears to be too loud or too soft (and there is no sound technician to adjust the volume), ask the audience whether the audio level is comfortable for them. This practical approach is better than having bad microphone reception spoil your speech.—Shirlee Hurst Shields, Salt Lake City, Utah