March Madness!! I love everything about it. From watching incredible games with buzzer-beater shots to searching for that Cinderella team that defies all the odds, there’s always something for a viewer to cheer, and sometimes, to learn. As the Sweet16 Round begins tonight, let me share a quick lesson with you, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes: The mic is always hot.
Courtesy ACC Digital Network
For the record, I think Hayes’ reaction was priceless. It was such a sweet, charming moment. Though he has received a lot of ribbing for it, he will likely never forget the lesson. Neither should you. Some people are not as lucky.
So. Let me share a few scenarios with you to drive home the point:
You’ve stepped away from the podium and are whispering a comment to another person who is sharing the stage or panel with you? The mic is hot.
You’ve finished an on-camera interview with a reporter or finished giving a speech, and the crew is packing up? The mic is hot.
You turned off the mic? The mic is hot.
Right now, I am waiting for a replacement for my cycle class mic because the current one is malfunctioning, and guess what? That mic is still hot.
Practice awareness before, during and after your presentation or talk. Remember, you should assume that everything you say–no matter how softly said–can and will be detected and recorded. Make sure you communicate exactly what it is you want to communicate. If you’re tempted to utter a comment that neither underscores nor advances your overall message, then keep it to yourself.
Fight the urge to say anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times, during a broadcast on CNN or as a trending topic on Twitter. Because you may find your words and your likeness on the page, broadcast or tweet if you assume the mic is anything but hot.
And you won’t be nearly as sympathetic as Nigel Hayes.
The Takeaway Before You Breakaway: The. Mic. Is. ALWAYS. Hot.