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What Does “Drop The Mic” Mean?

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What Does Drop The Mic Mean

A good presenter, artist or performer can bring across a message so clearly and well that the performance itself becomes memorable.

This is often called a “Drop the Mic” moment, but what does this expression mean and where does it come from?

“Drop the mic” has become the topic of thousands of mic memes and discussions in the past year.

We take a look at its meaning, and how you can create a drop the mic moment with your performance.

The Meaning Of “Drop The Mic”

Drop the mic refers to the gesture of literally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a speech, performance or triumphal moment.

Over time, it has turned from a literal gesture to a figurative expression of triumph at the end of a successful event.

There is no exact definition of a drop the mic moment, and when an event is fully successful. 

However, most drop the mic moments happen when the performer receives a lot of applause at the end, or he did something spectacular to impress the audience.

These successful moments can be part of a musical performance, a political speech or any other event where someone stands in front of a large crowd and delivers an important argument or message.

When a performer would drop the mic literally in the past, this would signify the end of a monumental performance.

Where Does “Drop The Mic” Come From?

rapper performing

The drop the mic gesture first became popular in the 1980s as a show of bold confidence, particularly amongst comedians, rappers, and hip hop artists.

It quickly became common amongst performers from different genres. Anyone who would perform on a stage in front of an audience would aim to create a memorable moment.

For example, rappers would engage in a rap battle, and when a rapper wins the battle, then this would be a drop the mic moment.

Quite literally, the rapper then drops mic to show confidence in front of his opponent.

There are a number of historically memorable drop the mic moments, including Jonny Rotten (front man of the Sex Pistols) who dropped his microphone at the end of a concert in the Netherlands in the late 70s.

This was one of the earliest emphatic drop the mic events in musical history. 

Looking at comedians, famous actor and comedian Eddie Murphy also dropped his mic after a standup show in 1983.

Mic dropping moments gained popularity over time, particularly up from 2012. At the time when Barack Obama was US President, he performed a drop the mic moment on the Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon.

This was another peak for mic drop moments, and the following years saw a number of politicians, sports personalities and performers drop their microphone, also with the words “over and out”.

There are also a range of different songs and videos inspired by certain mic drop moments throughout history.

In 2016, Google briefly introduced a mic drop feature to their email service Gmail as an April Fool’s joke. 

This feature allowed users to add a little animal of a Minion dropping a microphone as a response to any of their chosen emails.

But the feature did more than just add a funny meme. It also stopped the recipient from sending a response.

However, the mic drop feature received a lot of criticism and complaints, so it was removed after a few hours of its release.

Google mic drop feature

How To Create A Mic Drop Moment Like A Pro?

It may look very easy to just drop the microphone and walk out after you made an important point, but it is surprisingly difficult to develop your performance act or speech to get to this moment.

We put a few tips together on what you need to do to create a mic drop moment with your presentation or performance.

Identify The Right Moment

A presentation and performance should always be well-planned and structured, and it should have a central message that you want to bring across.

Think about this core message. What is the one thing that you want your audience to know? 

If you do not mention it in your performance, speech or presentation, then you will leave your listeners guessing, and your presentation may not be as impactful as when you put this central idea at the end of your speech.

Make Your Drop The Mic Moment Memorable

Listening to someone talk, sing or perform for longer than a few minutes can be difficult for an audience, and there is much information to absorb.

That’s why, it’s essential that you make it as easy as possible for your audience to understand your message.

Use powerful bite size catchphrases and short sentences.

When you do your prep work for your performance, it’s worthwhile checking out the competition and look at some similar presentations.

Whether you are a comedian, artist, politician or performer, the drop the mic moments for all performances are very similar, and they all have the same goal: to leave an impression on your audience.

Deliver Your Mic Drop Moment

It’s important that you lead up to your drop the mic moment if you don’t want your audience to lose interest.

There are many ways to grab your audience’s attention, such as changing your vocal tone, asking a question or even moving closer to the audience.

Once you have all eyes of your audience on you, you can deliver your mic drop moment in a short and concise way. Make sure that it looks all very natural.

Show confidence in your body language, and then go completely silent. Just drop your microphone, wait for a moment to see your audience’s response and walk off the stage.

Final Thoughts

Drop the mic is not just an expression in language but it has become synonymous with a powerful end point in a performance, speech or presentation.

You can create a mic drop moment in front of an audience with the right techniques. Just check out our guide on how to create a drop the mic moment above.

Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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