Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The BLEEPING Microphone
Imagine that you're sitting at a meeting of some sort. A training or a workshop maybe. It's a large crowd, and the speaker is using a microphone and audio system to project his voice to the back of the room. After talking for several minutes and engaging the audience, the speaker then introduces another person. There is applause for the new person as he walks to the front of the room, and then the previous speaker hands the microphone to the new speaker.
This new speaker does one of two things. He either takes the microphone and looks at it for a few seconds like it's some strange object he's never seen before (think of the ape creature with the bone at the beginning of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY) and then hands the microphone right back to the first speaker, or the second speaker outright refuses to even touch the microphone. The people in the first few rows might hear the new speaker mumble something like, "I hate those things." Then the new speaker draws in a deep breath, stands up straight, and shouts--absolutely SHOUTS--as loudly as he can, "CAN EVERYBODY HEAR ME IN THE BACK?"
It's to that second speaker that I want to address this blog post today. And here's what I want to say:
Use the BLEEPing microphone, moron!
If you just used the microphone, you wouldn't have had to begin your speech with that question! You'd KNOW the people in the back could hear you. Also, you wouldn't have to shout so loudly that the people in the front have to recoil in pain. Also, you wouldn't strain your voice. Also, you wouldn't have to do what you inevitably end up doing, which is take the microphone anyway about halfway through your speech when the people in the back complain that they still can't hear you! Also, you wouldn't look like an idiot!
Friend, the microphone and connected audio system are there to assist you. They help you project your voice. Go ahead and make use of them. It's what they're there for.
What is your problem? Is it that you hate the sound of your own voice? Get over it. Everyone else here wants to hear your voice. Think about them.
If that's not it, then what is it? Is it some macho thing? Do you think your voice is strong enough that you don't need a mike? Guess what? It doesn't matter how big your voice is--once the audience has gotten used to hearing everyone else coming through the audio system, your voice is going to sound tiny. People are going to have to strain to hear you. And when people are working hard to HEAR, it makes it harder for them to LISTEN.
So please, stop shouting at us, and use the mother BLEEPing microphone!