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What It Means When a Speaker Intentionally Drops the Mic

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.


You have probably seen speakers hold a handheld microphone high in the air and deliberately drop it at the end of their speech.

Do you know what deliberately dropping the mic means? What statement is the speaker or performer sending after his message?

Mic Drop Meaning

A mic drop is holding up the microphone high in the air, releasing the hand, and letting it drop to the floor after a speech or performance. Then the speaker walks away from the podium. It is a dramatic way of sending a message to the audience that it was a good performance. It signals victory, triumph, and a personal celebration. Actually, it shows a boastful attitude toward one's own performance. It is his way of tooting his own horn.

The gesture indicates that all that needs to be said has already been said, and there is nothing left to say. In essence, dropping the mic means no one else needs to follow and use the microphone. Dropping it is a way of putting the mic out of commission.

Origin of the Mic Drop

The mic drop has been used by comedians and rappers since the 1980s. In 1983, Eddie Murphy dropped the mic in his standup show Delirious. In 1988, he did it again after a musical performance of The Greatest Love of All in his movie Coming to America when playing the character of Randy Watson.

Saturday Night Live cast members began dropping the mic in skits in 2008. That played a large role in popularizing the mic drop

The trend grew in popularity in 2012 when the then-President Barack Obama performed a mic drop on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Viewers credited him for causing the trend to increase even more. By 2013, most people had begun to understand what dropping the mic meant.

Obama seems to love the trend because he did it again at the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 30, 2016 as seen in the video below.

Today, dropping the mic at the end of a performance has become a trend and part of the American culture.

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Watch how the former president intentionally held up the mic in the air at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner and dropped it as he said two last words, "Obama out!" and gave the peace gesture.

People on social media agree that Obama's mic drop is one of the best examples of showing how it is done.


The Trend Continues

More and more performers are dropping the mic whether their performances are great or not.

Other than Eddie Murphy, comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock have also been known to drop the mic. Kanye West dropped his mic at the 2012 BET Awards after his musical performance.

Danger of Dropping the Mic

Some people don't understand why a speaker would take the chance of damaging expensive audio equipment. If that happens, the next speaker might not have a workable microphone.

Audio technicians worry when performers hold up the mic in the air and intentionally drop it on the floor. They don't like the idea of people risk ruining expensive equipment. A performance might think it is acceptable to drop a mic after what he thinks is a performance, but damaging a wireless mic can be costly.

  • A mic drop always comes at the end of a speech or performance; never during or in the middle of a speech because the performer needs it to continue his speech.
  • A mic drop indicates the performance is over and there is nothing left to say because the performer has done an excellent job.
  • Dropping the mic means the performer doesn't need it any longer.
  • Dropping the mic is a way of telling the listeners that everything worth anything has already been said and nothing can top that.
  • Dropping the mic is a way of telling the audience that the performer is signing off.
  • Dropping the mic could be thought of as being arrogant.
  • The gesture of dropping the mic illustrates the bold confidence of a performer that he has been very impressive and no one can top what he has done. In fact, it is a subtle way of saying the microphone isn't needed any longer.

What Would Your "Drop the Mic" Speech Be About?

If you had to give a "drop the mic" speech, what would it be about?

  • politics?
  • fashions?
  • foods?
  • religion?
  • parenting?
  • cars?
  • education?
  • health?
  • jobs?
  • or something else?


History of Dropping the Mic

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