December 27, 2005 Present Like A Pro Newsletter
Inspiring You to Discover, Develop, & Delight in Your Strengths
Welcome fellow speaker! This weekly newsletter from Present Like A Pro is here to provide you with on-going tips and inspiration as you develop your skills as a speaker. In every issue are practical tools that you can use in your very next presentation.

Starting in 2006, Present Like A Pro newsletters will be sent twice a month. We encourage you to invite others to sign up for their own free subscription to this great speaking resource. Thank you and enjoy!

This edition: 1,106 words; 2-3 minute read

What (Else) They Don't Teach You in Toastmasters
by Sara Schaffer   How to Use A Microphone
I stood there with a lavaliere mic receiver that needed a belt loop. However, I was wearing a new (women's) suit that didn't require a belt. I had no idea how I was going to attach the small box to my clothes or my person. Eventually someone helped me tie it into my skirt, and I was ready to speak.

Last week we started our short series on what you may not learn in Toastmasters. As I wrote then - this is neither a paid ad nor an attack on the wonderful international speaking organization. Instead, I simply want to share with 3 tips about how to use a microphone that I wished I'd known before I went out to Present Like A Pro!

1. What style is it? First, the most familiar microphone is the hand-held. It may have a cord or be wireless, and as the name implies - you hold it in your hand. Another common mic is the lavaliere or lav. This small mic clips to your lapel and has a receiver that attaches to your clothing. Thirdly, head-set mics wrap around the ear or behind your head.

2. Do I need to use one? Simply put - yes! Always use a microphone when it is offered to you. Sound systems are set up to amplify your voice to the entire audience. A mic will ensure that in small or large venues, you are heard even in "dead spots" where the room acoustics fail.

3. Where does it go? If you are using a hand- held mic, hold it like an ice cream cone by your chin. Keep the mic consistently in front of your mouth as you turn your head and gesture. If you have a lav, clip it on a lapel. Be aware of your mic as you speak. For example, if you are looking over your right shoulder at a screen, put the lav on your right lapel.

4. How do I adjust the volume? You don't. The sound technician is responsible for making sure the microphone is at an appropriate level for your speaking voice. To be sure that the levels are right, arrive early and do a sound check.


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I wish I had known almost all lavaliere mic receivers require a belt! Now, I make sure to pack one whenever I go speak. I also ask my meeting planners what type of sound system and microphones they use so I am prepared.

Take time to practice with a mic. Be mindful of how to use lavs and hand-helds. Use a mic when it is offered to you, and get comfortable with using them through your own personal practice. When you master the use of your microphone, you Present Like A Pro!

Happy Holidays
  It IS The Thought That Counts
One of my favorite lines about this season is from a clip I saw on Saturday Night Live. During their weekend update the week before Christmas, they reminded everyone that there were "only seven shopping days left until holiday."

If you gave a presentation this month, you may have been tempted to wish your audience something like good will, seasons greetings, etc. Or, without much of a thought, you may have simply said happy this- or-that or even merry something-or-another.

Do we need to be concerned as speakers about such well-wishing?

The answer is found in answering a simple question - what is your intent? Are you coming to your audience with an inappropriate agenda? Are you, for example, wanting to preach at a corporation or trying to promote your company during a church service?

In all seasons and situations we need to put our listeners first.

Perhaps it is a bit naive to say that good intentions are enough. If, however, we were always in the habit of putting others ahead of ourselves, I believe that would go a very long way to avoiding and eliminating offenses.

At the same time, we need to remember that we don't control the response we get from our audiences.

To have a goal of never offending anyone is like trying to make sure everyone in your audience is not hungry. It's not within a speaker's domain to control the reactions and feelings of the listeners. Instead, we can simply do our part to be sensitive and thoughtful to each group that gives us their time and attention.

As we decide what's appropriate to share with our listeners, it is the thought that counts.

Looking Ahead to 2006
First of all, thank you so much to all of my readers for a terrific year! As you may have seen in the introduction, starting in January, you will be getting this newsletter twice a month instead of every week.

There are some exciting new projects in the works, and I look to sharing them with you in the coming year.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a truly joyful New Year. Thank you again for your loyal readership. Blessings to you this holiday season! -Sara

Special Offers
Need A Speaker? In addition to presentation coaching, Sara regularly speaks to corporate and community groups. Whether you are looking for something educational, motivational or inspirational, she will add humor and depth to your next special event. For booking information, contact Sara today at: 303-818-2509 or

Do you work at Ball Aerospace? If so, you can receive Presentation Coaching as part of the training offered by your company! Find out more at the TLC website. Just click on the Other Development link to get to the coaching corner.

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