Richard Maun – The Quiet Mic Story

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The Quiet Mic Story

15 April 2018

This is a story about being heard using equipment that is specifically designed to enable people to be heard. Always good to get a slice of irony into a story.

The mic in question isn’t a Mike, Michael or Micky. It’s a microphone. To be precise it’s a brand new, BBC quality, broadcast microphone as used by all good radio stations.

And for some reason it doesn’t work properly in our new radio studio.

That may be unfair on the mic, as it is the first link in a very long chain.

The mic feeds into the desk and is mixed with the radio playout software and the signal is processed and balanced and then broadcast.

However, when we tested the new studio set up recently the mic was quiet and no amount of button twiddling would fix the problem.

At first I was told the mic was fine and we needed to sit closer to it. Then we were told to speak louder. This is not how a mic should be set up because some people are softly spoken and you need to increase the volume on the desk.

The ‘we’ here is myself and my cohost and we were struggling to get to grips with the new set up.

Things were not sounding great so we continued to complain. Eventually our hugely talented engineer arrived and agreed that the mic was quiet.

Armed with his trusty toolkit he adjusted feed controls and volume controls and eventually dismantled the mixing desk and tweaked a special control, that was specially designed for last resort tweaking.

Finally the problem was solved and the quiet mic was now loud enough. Radio happiness!

The point of the story is about being heard. It took a while for our complaint to be taken seriously and then peristence from us to solve the problem.

We could have accepted the initial feedback that the mic was fine and let it go.

We didn’t have to pursue the problem and could have left it for someone else to fix, but the risk was if it wasn’t fixed it would have made it difficult for us to broadcast.

Sometimes it takes a while to be heard in life and we can follow our instincts and keep finding our words until someone hears us and takes notice.

Business is the same and if we think about sales and problem solving work it may take several attempts before the sale is concluded, or the problem is sorted.

If you’re not being heard it’s ok to keep going until you find the words that work for you.

So, this week we don’t have to be quiet microphones. We can turn up the volume and broadcast to the world!

Next week: Being Vulnerable


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© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact