Title: Microphone Technique Word Count: 1088 Summary: How to use a microphone and develop a microphone technique of your own Keywords: Article Body: Although it sounds strange to you, to hear your own voice over the P.A , in fact it doesn’t sound any diff erent to the audience than if you w ere talking to them in normal conve rsation. The trick here is to be Yourself, i f you haven’t got the skill to proj ect a warm friendly personality at the functions where ice breaking is required then being an entertainer isn’t for you. The trick is to fin d a balance, most people would simp ly hire the gear - saving around 50 % of a D.J’s booking fee and throw a NOW Cd on - if human input and pe rsonality wasn’t important to them. At some functions, if they pay for an entertainer and get a human juk ebox who doesn’t own a mic and just sits there playing music then they occasionally feel cheated!. I can’t stress the “BE YOURSELF”, a dvice enough, don’t put on a radio style zany DJ voice - that will sou nd false and doesn’t fool anybody. If you are lucky enough to have a D .J training you, or are a young per son helping an older mentor D.J the n DON’T be tempted to become a clon e of him or her. Adopt your own mic style (not a false voice), use you r own tag lines but don’t rely on t he same cliche’s 20 or 30 times a n ight - this becomes boring and pred ictable. Don’t rely on “that was”, “This is” introductions all night. At some f unctions going out with a Radio Mic and creating banter with your audi ence is a great way to break the ic e at the beginning of difficult, no n formal functions - and a good way of enouraging them onto the dancef loor early on. You can relax the mi c work and the frquency of them - o nce the dancefloor is filling. Of course there are always going to be functions where you need more m ic work than the last, and other fu nctions where it is going to be lit tle mic use, but the key is to deve lop a style and strength and confid ence in your mic working ability an d not to rely on non stop music alo ne to do the work for you. Just be yourself, and talk normally into the microphone. The thing to work on is to speak confidentally a nd clearly and try to pace yourself . Speaking too fast will make what you are saying sound garbled, speak ing too slow will make you sound li ke you are addressing a bunch of vi llage idiots . Pretty soon, with a little time and practice you’ll dev elop your own individual skill and style and that is the most importan t aspect, don’t try to copy anybody else or put on a different voice, it will sound false and make learni ng and maintaining the technique a lot more difficult. If being a comedian is not you, the n avoid the jokes unless you are go od at this sort of thing , forced c omedy can sound false and you may f ind yourself laughing alone, after all the Client has booked a Mobile Disco and not a stand up comedian!. One of the best pieces of advice I was given my the D.J who trained m e, was to “Stick at doing what you are good at and have been booked fo r, and if in any doubt then leave i t out”. Spontaneous one liners are another matter, if something amusing happen s, then share it - use the mic to g et requests, make a fuss over other people celebrating birthdays / ann iversaries - people like to have th eir 30 seconds of glory and hearing their name mentioned, over the mic My advice to those nervous about pu blic speaking for the first time, i s not to be frightened of the mic o r avoid using one - its your closes t and most useful ally, at all func tions. Don’t talk all over the trac k, learn to pace yourself over the outro of the previous track and any intro of the next track - don’t ga bble - talk clearly into the microp hone as if you were talking to a fr iend. With time you should be able to familiarise yourself with how th emore popular tracks end and finish , this way you can talk upto the vo cal, similar to how they do on the radio - stopping your banter at the moment the vocal on the next track starts. Don’t rush to perfect this or gabble to do so, it all comes w ith time and practice. Keep it simp le to start off with. Start with the easy stuff first, ju st introducing tracks, and buffet a nnouncements. Once you’ve built up a bit of confidence, you’ll move on from the ‘That was….. this is….’ r outine. Try and include your audien ce, invite requests, make them feel welcome. Even if you are having a difficult gig don’t take it out on the audience and try and look like you are enjoying yourself, even if it’s not going to plan. Don’t worry about making mistakes on the Mic, we all do from time to time, but do n’t draw attention to it, or dwell on it it’ll just make it worse - be sides making mistakes shows that yo u are human and not a pre-programme d jukebox Keep key information on the gig, su ch as the Bride & Grooms’ names, Be st Man Name etc on a piece of paper on the mixer, so that you can casu ally glance down if you have a sudd en memory blank, but don’t write yo ur links down as a speech, otherwis e it will sound like you are readin g from a script and less natural. Remember that once the dancefloor i s full, you can ease off the mic a little, but keep doing the requests and don’t forget that it exists. L earn to find the balance, too much talking can bore the pants of your audience, too little mic work can m ake people think that you aren’t ea rning your keep!. There are functio ns where you have a full Dancefloor and it would be obtrusive to chat all over the music when people want to dance, equally there are more f ormal functions where there isn’t t he room or inclination to dance, an d so a bit of light hearted banter to break the ice and the empathsis on the entertainment side of being a DJ is required rather than just c ontinuous music All of this will take some time, do n’t expect to develop a mic techniq ue overnight just take it one gig a t a time.
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