Sound Judgement?

Clay MikeHmmm….. Which microphone should I use?

As simple as it may ‘sound’ in this case, no pun intended, you MUST ask yourself, “Which type of microphone should I use?”, based upon the delivery parameters of your presentation.

Recently, I saw a short presentation by a ‘seasoned’ presenter/trainer. He was using a hand-held microphone.  He delivered a great, 10-minute presentation on the fundamentals of presenting and delivering a dynamic presentation. However, while explaining how body movement and hand gestures play a key role in speech delivery, he was all over the place with the hand-held microphone.  One minute in this hand, the other minute in that hand, then, at one time, he held it down at his waist.  It was hard to hear him.  Quite to my surprise, he even walked over to the projection table and set down the microphone so he could perform and talk about a wide-open arm gesture to the audience.  We lost his audio!!!!

Did I mention the session was being recorded?

Guess what happened when he set down the microphone? Yep…you guessed it! That audio portion was lost on the recording.  Ooops!  Won’t make that mistake again.

Clearly, he should have considered using a lapel or head worn  microphone in this case.

Nugget Takeaway: Remember to consider your delivery style AND your audience when choosing your microphone type.

Keep on Speaking!!

Dang! He sure do talk funny!


One problem all foreign born speakers have is being understood when they speak. As a matter of fact any speaker, who has a different accent than their audience, can be misunderstood. The problem lies in the brain. All of us are accustom to a certain speech pattern, pace or dialect. When you change that pattern, it takes a split second longer for the brain to understand what is being said. People from the north have a hard time understanding people from the south and vice-versa. The fix is to simply slow your speech down and to enunciate a bit more clearly. For a person just to speak a little slower gives your audience time to understand you. This is very important if you travel to a foreign country. You may think everyone understands you but if you speak to quickly, your audience will have trouble comprehending your message. The problem you face when you speak more slowly is that you feel uncomfortable. You think you are talking too slowly. It just doesn’t feel natural. This is where practice comes in to play. Just practicing in your everyday life with store clerks or strangers will help you acquire the skill and comfort to do this. As you practice it will become comfortable and easier to do and as a result when the need arises, you will be able to perform perfectly.

Holy smokes! I never thought of that!


One of the major techniques for comedians to make their audiences laugh is by the use of misdirection. Comedians will lead their audience down one path of reasoning that the audience expects will have a certain ending and then at the last second comedians will give a punch line that is totally unexpected. The end result is funny. Speakers can do something similar to their own content. It is our job as speakers to think outside the box. It is our job as speakers to give our audience another way of looking at ideas, concepts or at the world.  The first problem for all of us is our own ideas.  We all have preconceived notions or expectations on many areas of our lives.  In order for us to give our audiences a different viewpoint, we must give ourselves a different viewpoint.  Of course this is a lot easier said than done. Once you have acquired a number of viewpoints or ideas on a particular topic, take the time to brainstorm as many different ideas as you can. Don’t judge these ideas at first, just let the ideas flow. No matter how stupid you think your idea is just record the idea on paper. Once you have given sufficient time to brainstorming for ideas then you can start to analyze the validity and merit of these ideas.  Again let the ideas flow, and then judge. At first it may seem difficult and not very productive but with time and effort it will become easier.