Using Microphones in Audio Visual Presentations

Wireless Microphones

  • Wireless microphones are available only in Dalby Hall. They aren’t available at any other venue on campus.
  • It’s best to AVOID using wireless microphones unless it’s absolutely necessary. We do not recommend the use of the wireless microphones in Dalby hall due to inherent problems with static, fadeout and interference from other devices. Instead, we strongly recommend using traditional hand-held wired microphones.
  • If you must use wireless microphones, we do have a three: two wireless hand-held mics and one wireless lavaliere (lapel-style) mic. If your event requires more wireless microphones, you will need to make your own arrangements.
  • All wireless mics require sufficiently-charged batteries to be correctly inserted into the mic. We recommend using batteries that are 100% charged.
  • Be sure to very carefully test the wireless mics with your support person well before the actual event, so you will be totally comfortably using it during your actual event. It takes about 10 minutes to do this, so please be sure to allow for this time.
  • To prevent any kind of electrical interference or unexpected phone calls, it’s best to have no wireless devices and phones be on the person of anyone on the stage during the entire event.

Wired Lapel Microphones

  • The A/V department has two wired lavaliere (lapel-style) mics that can give good results if used correctly
  • If you choose to have your speakers use a lapel microphone, it’s essential that the mic be placed very high on the speaker’s tie or lapel, pointing directly at the mouth as much as possible. If the microphone is kept down low on the speaker’s tie or body, it is almost impossible to get good sound.
  • The lapel mics must be carefully tested BEFORE the event. It takes about 10 minutes to do this, so please be sure to allow for this time.

Questions from the Audience

Many events have a segment set aside for “Audience questions and comments”, typically near the latter part of the event. If you plan to have this, note that there are (at least) two schools of thought on how to manage this smoothly:

  1. The preferred and easier way, is a more formal approach. This is to have two microphones placed on a stand at the bottom of each stairs. The idea is to have audience members who wish to speak “queue” up at the mics, so they will not just shout out a question or comment from their seat. Note well that you MUST announce clearly (and loudly) before this segment of your event begins that all audience members who wish to speak must queue up at the mics before speaking. If you don’t do this, audience member may not bother queuing up at the mics at all, and this segment will not work. The downside of this approach is the each person who wishes to speak must actually move to the mic and this may be difficult or even impossible for some audience members.
  2. A less formal way, is to use “mic runners”. To do this, you will need to recruit two enthusiastic helpers who will each be given a wireless mic and will then “run” (actually they will walk carefully, but quickly) to the audience member who wishes to speak and then hand them the microphone that is definitely turned on. If you choose to go with this approach, the “mic runners” will also need to come at least 45 minutes before the event begins so they can be shown how to do this. Note that this approach is only possible in Dalby venue, since it is currently the only venue with wireless microphones.

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