VERY IMPORTANT: When using a mic, especially with a weak voice, KEEP IT CLOSE! Having the foam windscreen touching the lower lip is best - ideally not more than 1/4" away.
LET THE MIC DO THE WORK FOR YOU. With the mic close, you can get the greatest amplification with the least tiring effort and the least problem with feedback. You can get the full effect of any dynamics of your speech. And you can get natural, consistent sound without the amplification dropping off and coming back up if the mic and your mouth sometimes come close and sometimes are farther apart.
The mic should be positioned just at or just below the lip-line. Keeping the mic to one side, not in the middle, will cut down on windy, hissy sounds as from “s” and “p” and make your voice much more pleasant to listen to. You may find a dramatic difference in pick-up from one side of the mouth to the other. EXPERIMENT to find your best placement.
Many mics sound better if you talk over the top or across the face, not directly into them. And then listeners can see your mouth movements and facial expressions, an important part of any conversation.
People often find that the easiest way to use a hand-held mic is to put the cord around the back of the neck and let the mic dangle down in front, where it can be picked up and used when needed. Be sure to start out, right at the beginning, holding a hand mic in your non-dominant hand. The tendency is to pick up the mic with your “good” hand, but It is very difficult to switch later to the other hand in order to leave your dominant hand free for writing and other tasks.
SHAKY HANDS?? POOR GRIP?? You may be able to use a handheld mic by bracing 2 fingers or the palm or the heel of the hand on your chin. This often works quite well.
An amplifier's own handheld mic will often provide the best sound quality and greatest amplification at the least expense. However, those who cannot hold a mic or need both hands free will be able to get good results by choosing among several alternative mics and mic supports.
When a headset mic, headband mic, or collar mic is being tried for the first time, the user or therapist should hold the mic in the hand and experiment to find the best pick-up position first, before putting the mic on the head or neck. Once you know the spot you are aiming for, it is much quicker and easier and less annoying to adjust the mic and/or support than if you just put it on immediately and then start experimenting.
People at the same location much of the time (desk, chair, bed, etc.) and people using wheelchairs - may want to use a gooseneck support for the handheld mics. A pinchclamp allows mic insertion or removal in just a few seconds. For those with reasonable head control, this arrangement allows easy use of the mic, free of connecting wires and supports attached to the head. A slight turn of the head puts the lips near the mic to speak and a slight turn the other way will reduce the amplification of breathing, coughing, sneezing. etc.
For those special situations in which a contact/throat mic is being used, experimentation will be needed to find the best pick-up spot on the neck.
When POSITIONING AN AMPLIFIER’S SPEAKER, remember that it must face into an open area - not into a wall or piece of furniture or someone's body. In small rooms or elevators, the volume may have to be adjusted down to avoid feedback. Wheelchair users, with an amplifier mounted on the chair, must be careful not to stop to talk with the speaker facing right into a wall, cabinet, etc. If sitting at a table or desk, a waistband amplifier may have to be moved around to the side or removed and set on the table/desk. If using a wireless system where the mic is using a transmitter and not plugged in to the speaker, the mic and speaker must be separated by at least several feet to avoid feedback.
NOTE: POSITIONING IS IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE, TOO! A person who is positioned, as much as possible, with head erect, airway open and shoulders back to allow full use of the lungs will be able to produce a louder, clearer voice with less effort than someone who is slumped over.