A mic that’s in good condition and working properly can help an instructor be heard more easily. This is important in classes where most of the people speak the same language and there are auditory learners in the class.
Zumba, for example, is a visual format that doesn’t typically use a microphone (unless a gym requires it). I don’t use a mic for Zumba because I have people who speak 6 different languages in my Monday morning class. In that case, much more effective to teach with my hands and head.
The other thing to consider with a mic is that although it makes one’s voice easier to hear, the intelligibility / clarity / skill of the cues is equally important.
I taught with the mic for the longest time in a club with a lot of outside noise. On the few occasions when the mic was broken, I realized how much I had to strain my voice to carry.
I teach now in a smaller studio; the room has great acoustics, and I can do not have to raise my voice to be heard everywhere.
I’ve taught over 600 classes and I would say half of those were without using a microphone. As Elizabeth said above it really depends on the size of the class and the location/size of room. Also it comes down to what type of class you teach. If the instructor has to move a lot or breathes loudly this can often come out through the mic.
Microphones do wonders especially for the clients and instructor. When I have to teach classes without a mic I often feel like I’m shouting and my throat burns after. Yet there are problems with microphones such as some instructors don’t understand what is too loud which can damage hearing of clients. Microphones are also expensive which is one reason why I would use it at some classes and not at others.
All in all it comes down to how much you want to invest, if you want to play your music louder (can with a mic, can’t without), what type of classes you teach, and if you want to save your vocal cords or not.
I believe using a microphone has its benefits especially when teaching a LARGE class…like say 10 or more students. You’ll be surely HEARD clearer, louder and more energetic to the entire crowd, which can be very motivating and keeps them hyped up. It’s unnecessary though, if you are more in an intimate setting with a client like for example: 1-on-1 or Partner training–ESPECIALLY if you already have a natural big, enthusiastic voice like mine 😀 hehe
I keep my clients HYPED UP like I already have a mic…lol
Hope this helps 🙂
AFPA Cpt, MindBodyDrive LLC