Bad Audio Sucks

A meeting you can't hear isn't a meeting!

Tap, tap, tap…. “Is this thing on?” When you're at the lectern, saying this is nearly as bad as the gut-wrenching, horrific sound of that silver bendy thing that holds the microphone at the lectern when you try to adjust it for another person.

Did you know that microphone feedback scores higher in terms of being an irritating sound than fingernails on a chalkboard? This was based on a study by the Acoustics and Audio Engineering Department at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom. (The sound of someone vomiting came in at number one. Coincidentally, that's what I feel like doing when I show up at an event where the audio sucks.)

A meeting that can't be seen can still be a meeting if the information is conveyed audibly. An effective conference call is an example. However, if your message breaks up or in any way, shape, or form and the attendees can't hear it, it's time to quit.

What also sucks is a speaker who is uncomfortable with a microphone, or who doesn't know how to use one, especially when microphones are readily available. Once, I was a featured entertainer at an awards banquet with about 500 attendees. The banquet hall had a stage, a lectern, a high-quality audio system, and stage lights, to boot. Audio was set up for my show as well as the DJ following the show, with multiple microphones at the ready.

The vice president of sales strode onto the stage along with the operations manager to begin the awards ...

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