As social marketers, many of us are using the microphone for radio podcasts, interviews, videos, voice-overs,or as a Master of Ceremony. Just as we need advice on managing our computer sites, any tips that make us sound great will enhance our image and benefit our business. So, from a recent interview with Craig Smith, Radio Producer and Announcer, from Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation in Ontario, Canada; I was able to glean the absolute top 5 Keys when using a microphone.
#1. Don’t crowd the microphone.
Maintain a four-inch distancefrom your mouth. Too often young people have the impression that their lips need to touch the microphone. This is not only unhealthy, but unnecessary.Technically, it could overload the microphone and the audio channel that it’s going to. Your aim is for naturalness and quality of your voice.
#2.Sit or stand directly in front of the microphone.
This point may seem obvious, but you would be amazed at how often the speaker will speak across the microphone at an angle; and therefore, miss the best sound quality. Most of the microphones in use for vocal or speech have a “cardioid” sensitivity pickup pattern. This means that it is quite directional, rejecting sounds from the sides and back of the microphone. For this reason, you can’t talk across the microphone, but you must be directly in front for the best audio response.
#3. Speak in a normal voice.
Relax and speak with your normal pitch and volume. Using a more conversational tone, speak to your audience as an individual, not a crowd. Recording live voice can be extremely difficult if there is sudden loudness or softness because of the instaneous peaks of audio levels. So, as a speaker, have inflection, but try to limit unnecessary changesi n voice level.
#4. Control your breathing.
Using your diaphragm to support your breath will help you to control the breath, so it is silent. A good microphone will accentuate every breath you take. If you are doing your own recording, self modulate and look on your computer screen at the audio levels; then,make the appropriate adjustments to these levels. Opera Singers, for example,know when they are going into a high Aria; they will step back automatically to allow for a change in their louder projected level.
#5. Interview by appropriately holding themicrophone.
When interviewing with a single microphone be sure not to move the microphone away too soon. Also, instruct the interviewee not to speak until the microphone is pointed in his direction. For example, in news reports you often see the interviewer suddenly pull the microphone before the person has completed their comment. You must allow a pause, or in the business called “a beat,” to allow for editing of the interview.
Even the legendary Harrison Ford in his early days of his Star Wars, circa 1977; he was shy. Smith remembers from a Toronto interview that Ford needed assistance with proper microphone techniques, such as, not turning his head from side to side.
Hence, the best advice is to treat the microphone as a listener, as opposed to an object!
Going to experts that have experience in an area that may be new to you can serve your business well. Even Craig Smith has noticed that when he is approached to do voice-over commercials or documentaries, it is usually the companies that want to give their products a more professional sounding edge. How do you use your microphone? Leave a comment below or a question - we loved to hear from you.