People who tend to feel self-conscious when reading in front of an audience put on a boring voice when reading aloud. The boring and flat tone of voice used by reluctant readers sends everyone listening to sleep! Here are some tips to bring life to your voice next time you find yourself reading aloud in a classroom, work or social situation.
You Gotta ‘Own It’
Due to nerves a lot of people read aloud either too quickly or quietly. When you ‘own’ your reading spotlight, you’re not in a hurry to get your bit over and done with. Occupy space with your voice and take as long as you need.
Punctuation Is Your Friend
When reading aloud the most important thing is that you have enough breath to get through to the next natural pause in the text. Punctuation in a text such as full stops and commas show you where you can next take a breath. Try to avoid taking a deep breath mid sentence as it will disrupt to flow of the text and make it harder for listeners to understand what you are talking about. Scan a little ahead of where you are reading to see where your next pause is. Then, when you get there, don’t forget to breathe!
Make The Words Dance
Your job as narrator is to bring life to the text and to indicate the important parts to the audience. You can do this by varying your voice in different ways as you read. One of the ways you can do this is by placing stress and emphasis on key words and phrases in the text.