The Mike

I gave a talk last week for my first big crowd. Normally I don't use a microphone, as I can make my voice be big and booming (unless I am running a cold). But this was a traditional German lecture hall, steeply built as an amphitheater. And there were nearly 300 noisy bodies inhabiting it.

The technician wanted me to hang the mike around my neck and showed me how she does it. It needs to be near the mouth, so she adjusted the strap to have this big, black, extremely phallic thing strapped to her neck shoved up her mouth.

I declined. What kind of a picture does that make? Here I go to all this trouble with the slides to look professional, put some professor clothes on (as opposed to the comfy old jeans with the holes down the inseam), and I get this thing in my face? Instead, I just kept it in one hand, luckily I had the Apple Remote all set up and that works great with the left hand and at a distance. That way I could also move it closer or further away for added dynamics.

The other kind of wireless mike is also extremely gendered - it wants to be clipped on your tie and the transmitter fits nicely in your coat pocket. Assuming you are wearing a tie and have a coat pocket....

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