Three Fast & Dirty Microphone Tips for MCing

November 11, 2017 by Staci Nichols

Remember at the Scratch Academy when they taught us how to speak on the microphone? Yea, me neither. You wouldn’t roll up to an event with the intention of “winging it” when it comes to mixing the music…so why do so many of us think we don’t need any official microphone training to show up at an event and MC?

There is a right and wrong way to hold a microphone. After years as a full-time mobile DJ (and a debate scholarship…again, no mic lessons at debate camp either), I found myself in Mark Ferrell’s Bronze MCing workshop. Finally, someone taught me how to hold a microphone…apparently, I’d been gripping it too hard and making an angry fist shape with my hand, which is frowned upon by the experts. We don’t want to look like the mic needs an aggressive beat-down.


Ever heard that you should hold the microphone “like an ice cream cone” (meaning completely vertical….so ice cream doesn’t drip out the side of the cone or a scoop rolls off). According to “Voice Council” magazine, this is a no-no. Mics are designed to best pick-up sound when the top-most point (the tip) is directly in front of your mouth…yet we don’t want to block our faces from the audience.


Yes, a lot of sound engineers will tell you to hold the mic as close to your mouth as possible without eating it. And many professional singers and hosts do this. However, it sure looks a heck of a lot better to not provide the crowd with the distraction factor of “Are his lips touching the mic??? Ewww!” Moving the microphone even just one or two inches away will not reduce the sound by a huge amount. Since we are using mics to primarily DJ weddings (not sing at rock concerts), the look is definitely a factor. Any professional caliber microphone should be more than capable of still doing a fabulous job 1-2” from your mouth. On the other hand, too far away from your mouth is just making you and your equipment work harder than necessary. Find the sweet spot!


These handy dandy $1-$2 spongy microphone covers can make a huge difference for outdoor events. The windsock greatly reduces the whirring air noise from even a light breeze. We all know how distracting that can be during a ceremony. No, a windsock isn’t going to act like a brick wall in a super heavy wind, but, for the price, every mobile DJ should have a windsock for each and every one of their mics (toasting mics, MCing mics, officiant lapel mics, etc). I will even use mine indoors here in San Diego in the summer as I’m frequently near an air-conditioning vent, swamp cooler, or ceiling fan cranked up to high. It does make a difference!


Mic DOs and DONT’s

Staci Nichols Staci Nichols (25 Posts)

DJ Staci, the Track Star, has been a full-time mobile DJ for 10 years. She has performed internationally, on the Vegas Strip, at festivals, celebrity weddings, and for companies like Lamborghini and Reebok. Staci has spoken at major industry conferences and been featured on DJ News TV, ADJA, webinars, the Wedding MBA podcast, and a BPM Supreme Female DJ Forum. Staci is represented by both Scratch Events and Purim Agency.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Performance Tips