Is it time to upgrade your ceremony tech?

By Natasha Johnson

August 4, 2021

Ceremony devices, ceremony technology

Over the last week on social media we’ve been chatting about all things ceremony tech. We’ve been getting stuck in with conversations about what we read our ceremony scripts/notes from, to what we use on the day for voice amplification and sound quality.

The posts that we published last week made us (and by the looks of it) many other celebrants realize just how important it is to have these kinds of conversations, so we thought we’d chat about it further.
I learnt very early on in my almost 15 year celebrant career that your ceremony (the script or notes that you’ve prepared) are nothing if they aren’t delivered well. It does not matter how beautiful your fabulously crafted script is, if people struggle to hear it. Nor does it matter if you've written your best script to date, if your A4 script folder and microphone throw every challenge in the book at you during the ceremony.

I would even go so far as to say that delivery of a ceremony is EVERYTHING. If a ceremony isn’t delivered well, then all that effort you’ve put in will be lost!

So let’s take a look at this more closely.

When it comes to ceremony scripts, in case you didn’t know it, there is no rule about using paper. Obviously it’s a natural choice, particularly as it was the only choice we had as celebrants for a long time. But, hello technology! We now have other options and we’ve had them for quite a while. 

You can read my post where I outlined some of the benefits of using a device. It’s obviously a personal choice. There will be some celebrants who will never step away from paper scripts. But there are many who have and even more who want to.

So what’s stopping people who want to switch from making the switch? Well, the top answer for sure is the fear factor. Everyone’s got themselves convinced that their device is going to fail mid-ceremony and so this stops many from giving it a go, even though deep down it’s the direction they want to go in. But the truth is, once you do it, and you have your back up in place, you will love how easy and free it feels! But you’ve got to take the leap!

Then there’s the whole story around PA systems and microphones. I find it interesting that there are celebrants who have been practicing for a long time who don’t routinely use microphones (when quite possibly they might need to). 

Ask any voice expert, voice coach, sound technician, sound expert etc whether as a performer you should use a microphone or not, and you’ll get the same answer. Use a microphone. Obviously there are exceptions to this but generally where it’s better to use a mic, you should use a mic!

Years and years of ‘projecting your voice,’ can do long term damage. Not to mention that being able to actually properly project your voice is a skill. It’s something that actors and professional speakers learn how to do. It’s not just about speaking more loudly, it’s about body positioning, correct breathing and using your diaphragm properly. And even with all their training, actors and professional speakers are nearly always mic’ed up at work!

So unless you really know how to do it properly and you’re super confident that you are doing it properly, why not just use a microphone so you can speak with your normal natural voice and allow the microphone to do all the projecting and amplifying for you? It will sound 100% better, even if you don’t like the idea of using a mic. Because it’s not just about how you feel, it’s about how you sound to the people listening to you. 

You can read more from my original post here.

Whatever your thoughts are about ceremony and performance technology, let me leave you with this idea. As celebrants our role isn’t just to create and craft beautiful ceremonies for our clients, it’s also about leading and performing those moments as professionally as possible. It’s about making sure that we can be heard (by everyone), making sure that our deliveries are clean and crisp and also making sure that we care for our most important tool, our voice, for as long as possible.

So maybe now is the time for your to think about your own ceremony performance and whether you need to bring in any tech upgrades.

If you want to chat about this some more, do come and join us in our community Facebook group.

PS. Fancy a big warm friendly knowledgeable hug from us at the CC, whilst we help you develop and grow as a celebrant and a celebrant business owner? Come and join our community. See how we can help you here.

Photo by Andreas Holm Photography

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About the author 

Natasha Johnson

Natasha is the founder and co-director of awesomeness at the Celebrants Collective, with her business wife, Claire Bradford. When she's not overseeing celebrant development and supporting the hell out of their members, she can be found drinking fabulous Spanish wine, dancing to Beyoncé and hanging out on her veg patch, sometimes all at the same time. She lives in Malaga, Spain with her two favourite humans, three dogs, eight chickens and two giant African snails. (Don't ask!)

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