How to Be a Comedian – Tip 14: Microphone Technique – Part 2

In my previous blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 13: Microphone Technique – Part 1, I discussed the importance of knowing how to used a mic and gave several Do’s and Don’ts. In this blog, How to Be a Comedian Tip 14: Microphone Technique – Part 2, I’ll offer even more Do’s and Don’ts.

How to Be a Comedian – Tip 14: Microphone Technique – Part 2

IF THE MIC DOESN’T WORK . . .

Don’t get angry, throw a fit, or put down the club for having bad equipment. It just makes you look amateurish.

Do politely let the manager know that the P.A. system isn’t working. Then put the mic in the stand, set it aside, raise your voice, and do your show to the best of your ability.

IF THE MIC WORKS BUT YOU CAN’T HEAR YOURSELF . . .

Don’t yell really loud as a joke. If the mic is on you’ll hurt the audience’s ears or possibly blow out a speaker. Either way, you’ll look like a jerk.

Do speak a little louder, gradually raising your voice until you can hear yourself. Or ask the audience if they can hear you. It’s not as important that you can hear yourself as it is that they can hear you. There are what I call “deaf stages,” where the speakers are so far in front of the proscenium that the performers on stage can’t hear themselves at all, although the audience can hear just fine.

HOW TO HOLD A MIC . . .

Don’t cover the lower portion of your face with the mic.

Do hold the mic so it could graze the bottom of your chin.

Don’t speak directly into the mic. It distorts the sound, and the breathy consonants – P, B, F, and W – will make whooshing or popping sounds.

Do speak over the top of the mic. Most hand-mics are omni-directional, which means they pick up sound just as well from any angle within a certain distance. Holding the mic at chin level, you’ll easily be within that distance.

In my next blog, How to Be a Comedian – Tip 15: Microphone Technique – Part 3, I’ll suggest several more microphone techniques.

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