Your Voice: How To Find And Use It On The Mic


Strip Club DJ 101 is meant as both a tool for DJs that are new to the business as well as a way for veteran DJs to reflect on skills that they now take for granted. Look for an upcoming segment on running a smooth and effective stage rotation!

Ilan Fong is the Resident DJ at Kahoots in Columbus, OH, Chairman of the Education Committee, and PANDA Secretary of the Board with over 20 years of experience.  


One of the first and most important things for a young DJ to learn is how to speak on the mic.  Here are a couple of tips I use to train my DJs:

• Learn to use your diaphragm

• Speak TO your audience not AT your audience

• Take care of your voice; treat it like an instrument

• Know your club’s promos

• Don’t speak unless you have something to say that your audience needs to know or that they may find entertaining



In addition to being a DJ, I am also a singer and voice lessons often stress diaphragmatic breathing, and for good reason. Diaphragmatic breathing will help you save your voice over those many long shifts. Here’s how:

1 Take a deep breath and hold it.  Did you feel your chest expand? Now exhale.

2 This time when you inhale I want you to let the air fill your belly. That’s right, let your belly push out like you are pregnant. You now have a much larger supply of oxygen than you did inhaling the other way.

3 When you speak, use your diaphragm to push the air out. This will give you more power, control and not stress your vocal chords. Your vocal chords are more relaxed with this way of breathing.


When speaking to your audience you want to do so with a healthy dose of enthusiasm. I always ask new DJs, “Who is your favorite band or musician?” I then tell them to imagine they just got complimentary front row center tickets and all-access backstage laminates to hang out with said artist!  I then ask them “How would you tell your best friend about this?” THAT is the excitement you should speak with on the mic.  In doing so, please use your normal voice. There is no need to distort your sound by raping your vocal chords to sound like the cookie monsters aka “The Puke Voice”! It is also important to change your inflection and find different ways to say the same thing night after night. You can change the pitch and timbre of your voice from phrase to phrase.  Also try to end your statements with a rising pitch not a descending one.  This sounds brighter and more positive.


Take good care of your voice!  It is your unique instrument and one of the main reasons you have employment.  When possible, limit your smoking and alcohol consumption as both severely dry out and stress your vocal chords. Drink plenty of water. If you are sick and it is affecting your voice, do not speak unless absolutely necessary when not at work. Drink more water and get plenty of sleep! Put honey in your water and/or tea and drink them at a warm temperature. The honey will coat your vocal chords and hopefully keep them pliable.


Make sure you know all your club promos! Type them up on a cheat sheet that you keep in the booth with you. Promos include your club’s hours of operation, drink & food specials, special events, topless/nude table and private dances, champagne/private rooms, your food menu, ATMs/funny money, tipping and acknowledging your staff, and many others! (Ask your manager what they want you to hit most frequently?)


Finally, if you don’t have something informative or entertaining to say, then say nothing.  By the way, it is perfectly acceptable to use other DJs material on the mic! We have ALL ‘stolen’ from the guys we have heard before us! Go listen to the top guys in your market and other towns that you visit. Eventually you will find your own voice and style by working regularly. Good luck and kick ass every shift… you never know who is listening in your audience!