Episode 029 — Use a Lavalier and Learn from Star Trek: Discovery

2 Minute Tip: How to Use a Lavalier


A lavalier, or “lav,” is a small microphone a speaker will clip to their blouse, shirt, tie, collar, or jacket. That microphone usually connects to a battery pack/radio transmitter the speaker wears on their belt or waist. Usually the sound quality isn’t quite as good as a high quality hand held mic, but it can still be excellent. I like using a lav because of the freedom it gives me to use my hand and move around the stage.


Here are 3 tips to make most effective use of a lav.


  1. Turn from the waist, not the neck, when you want to look at something. Otherwise your volume level will fluctuate widely.
  2. Run the cord from the battery pack inside your clothes. This way there is no unsightly wire dangling in front of you, and you are less likely to accidentally yank it off.
  3. Always assume your lav is turned on.  Even if it’s not broadcasting to the room, it may still be broadcasting to the sound tech. This can be embarrassing if you have a private conversation or visit the lavatory. If you want to be sure it’s off, don’t just trust the switch on the battery pack; unplug the mic cord from the pack.


Post Tip Discussion: Learn from Star Trek Discovery


Star Trek: Discovery is the latest entry in the legendary franchise, and it premiered on September 24. I’m two episodes in and so far it’s pretty awesome. I’ll be talking more about it on a future episode of Caffeinated Comics.


This week, I want to talk about 4 lessons speakers can learn from the premiere

  1. Light the beacon: A simple, repeatable mantra can be a powerful tool for a speaker who wants to encourage buy-in and promote retention.
  2. Don’t confuse race with culture: All companies and audiences, despite the common characteristics of their members, have a unique culture. A speaker ought to do the work to understand the unique characteristics, views, and hot button issues for their audience
  3. You cannot save lives that have already been lost: Despite how effective your presentation is, you will not convince everyone of every point. If you have a point that is just not landing with your audience, you may need to walk away from it to focus on other points. Don’t waste your time focusing on losing points; doing so makes it more likely you’ll turn your winning points into losing ones as well.
  4. When you look for stories, you will find them: When you need a story, analogy, or idea, simply start looking for them. Keep that thought alive in the back of your mind as you go through your day, and you’ll be surprised by what you come up with.


Call to Action:

  • How do you feel about Star Trek stories and metaphors? Let us know in the comments below, or leave voice feedback at 650-TALK-TIP
  • Like the 2 Minute Talk Tips page on Facebook
  • Share this episode with a friend or colleague
  • Use a lav the right way
  • Watch Star Trek: Discovery and pull your own lessons from it
  • Don’t get best…get better.

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