Speaking to a smaller audience

Recently I  attended a new book reading at a local book store, where  about 30 – 40 people were  in attendance.  Even though one should be able to project to a room that size, it was difficult to hear the author and her guest speakers.  They were speaking as if to someone in the front row.

Because  I see this “lazy speak” so often, I’ve jotted down five quick hints to help your audience better hear you.

  • Speak to the person at the very back or end of the room, instead of to the people sitting in front of you.
  • Ask the audience in advance if they can hear you. If not, consider using a microphone.
  • When using a mic, it’s important for it to be at the right distance from your mouth. Speaking too close will distort your sound; holding the mic too far away means it won’t pick up your voice.
  • If using a mic, speak directly into it. Don’t turn your head away when you speak.  Most mics won’t pick your voice up if you turn away.
  • If your audience is spilling over to both sides of the room, include those sides when you speak. Speak to them as well as to the people in front of you.  But, as you turn, be sure the mic turns with you.

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