In your small business promotion, you the owner, will someday be called to speak before a handheld microphone or a bank of microphones to talk about your particular expertise.
If you deign to be interviewed by a reporter, or instead will speak at a planned, orchestrated press conference, here are some tips to remember for the handheld or externally fixed microphone.
1) The microphone comes to you. When speaking to a reporter who is holding the microphone, she will move the mic to you. Or there will be a boom mic floating near-by. You do not move to the mic or bob around speaking here or there. Be still. Remember, you are the expert. The pro has measured movements.
2) Remain in the frame. Your mouth should be a hand’s width from the mic, below your mouth. This is to allow cameras to get a better show of your fab face. And to prevent ‘popping’ into the mic — ‘d’s,’ ‘t’s,’ or ‘p’s’ are explosives if directed straight into the microphone. If there is a bank or cluster of microphones, any cameras or the reporters will be centered directly in front of the of the mic stands. Do not move around. Don’t make the camera guys or sounds guys work too much.
3) Watch your back. If the presser is planned by your PR flacks, your backdrop will have your company logo behind you. If not, see what’s over your shoulder. Look for naked statues behind you.
4) Start with your name, rank and the mundane. Practice your FireDrill, your pitch. And like any good lawyer you already know all the answers, but more important, you know and have heard all the questions. Stating the obvious gets your mouth a-motoring and helps the sound guys start to fiddling with the knobs if needed — your self intro will probably get edited out, but it will serve as sound check until you say something important. Assume they can hear you — don’t ask.
5) Don’t handle the microphones. Unless you are giving a 45 minute key noter and the mic belongs to you — leave them alone. There are apt to be a number of speakers coming to the mics. Handling the machinery might create noise picked up by the other mics. But if you must touch them, do it while talking in some connective or redundant phrase in case of noise. That will get edited out.
6) Bend your knees to get in reach of an extremely short mic. This is, of course, the trick of tall teenage girls when dancing with short guys. Bending over at the waist gives an ungainly, slouching appearance. You, Gentle Reader, are no slouch. Stand tall. Bow to no man.
7) Lower your voice. Lower your pitch. Your voice may get high pitched as you get nervous — and you better be nervous. If you do not have any adrenaline flowing when speaking publicly, you are too complacent.
The successful small business owner is a successful promoter and leader and speaker. The microphone is now another tool in your professional hands.