By Rev. Alan Viau
The most common complaint at wedding ceremonies and receptions is “I couldn’t hear a thing that was said!” As someone told me, “It makes for a long silent movie”. Certainly this is not what you want at your wedding. There are some very simple things that I do to ensure that the audience can hear and share in the wedding event.
Microphones seem to be a very scary thing. People seem to fear using them. I often hear a speaker say, “I don’t need to use this, right?” If they do, it is used so improperly that they may has well not have a microphone at all.
Microphones and other sound amplification systems are there so that you can be heard. They are tools to properly pass your message along in a crowd setting. My rule of thumb is to use a microphone for an audience of over 100 people.
Tip #1: Put the microphone on your chin with the knob pointing straight up. The picture below shows the proper way to position a microphone. By placing it in contact with your chin – you always know it is in the right position. It will move with you as you turn your head.
Courtesy of Oak Street Studios
Tip #2 You still need to speak up. It is a sound amplification system. It must have sound to amplify – so use your stage voice. Let the sound technician worry about the levels – give them something to work with. One other tip is to resist yelling. When you yell, your voice usually goes into an upper register. You may sound screechy – especially for women. So speak from your belly.
Tip #3 Slow down and enunciate. A large room that contains more than 100 people will bounce sound around. To be heard clearly, you need to slow down and pronounce each word. This also plays to the concept that people hear at a slower pace than they can think or speak. Slowing down gives them time to digest your message – and get your jokes. Listen to comedians – they tell their jokes slowly so you get it!
Taking care of these three tips will ensure that everyone has heard what you have set out to say during your speeches – that you love each other and wish to share a future of happiness together.