Connecting with your audience members by approaching and turning toward them is crucial to a presentation’s success. Standing behind a lectern and pontificating is not “connecting.” You need to reach out to and gain eye contact with individuals and individual segments of your audience if you expect chemistry to brew and credibility to grow.
Therefore, when presenting before a group large enough to require a microphone, request a wireless clip-on mike so that you can still be heard when you move away from your anchor position and turn to different segments of the audience. If you use a lectern-mounted gooseneck mike, you are locked into that position; if you turn away or step out, your voice disappears. When you use a handheld (“stick”) mike, you’ve locked one hand into a fixed position to keep the mike in front of your mouth, and you lose much of the animation that can help make you a great speaker.
An exception to the rule would be when you are presenting within the audience and are involving audience members as an integral part of your presentation. A handheld may be appropriate for the audience particiation portion of your presentation.
Just about any facility that provides a gooseneck or handheld mike can provide you a clip-on — but you may have to ask the A/V tech for one. Wireless is better than a lav or clip-on with a cable, so that you aren’t constantly tripping over the cord.
Arrive early and take control of your technology. Just because all the other speakers at the conference are talking from a lectern mike, it doesn’t mean you can’t use something that will work better for you.