HOW TO READ OUT LOUD LIKE A PRO!
So this happens to everyone at one point or the other in your life – Reading out to a group of people.
Let me paint a number of scenarios real quick. You might be able to relate with one or more of them
- You are in a bible study class or in Church, the preacher/teacher asks everyone to open a passage of scripture; he then calls out to anyone, or maybe you to read it out.
- You are in a meeting, and just before they start off deliberations on matters arising, you are asked to read the minutes of the last meeting
- You are the MC of an event. Suddenly, a dignitary makes a surprise appearance, and you are to read out his profile impromptu.
- You are running a show as a TV/Radio personality, and you need to read an article or quote someone to buttress a point you are making
In most cases, when auditioning for a radio/TV presenter job, you will be given two scripts to read. One rehearsed; the other unrehearsed.
This is because READING ALOUD IS CRITICAL TO PUBLIC SPEAKING.
Bottom line: Whatever it is you do, as a professional or in your day to day activities, you will at some point (that’s me putting it mildly, because there will be so many ‘points’), you will be saddled with the task of reading out loud to a group of people. Face it, you can’t miss it. It will happen.
Let’s admit it. Reading in your head is different from reading out loud. Just like singing; you’re listening to that song and feeling the vibe. You’re singing so well in your head, but turns out to be a totally different ball game when you open your mouth to sing it out.
How do you improve your public reading skills?
How do you become better at reading out in general? Mastering the art of ‘reading aloud’?
1. Read, and ‘Read’ out Everything You Read
Reading out loud starts from reading. You must have a good hang on reading in your head before you master reading aloud. Get a book, take interest in articles, buy magazines, surf the net, and… READ!
Now that you’ve gotten into the flow or reading, READ it out. In fact, read out EVERYTHING you read! So far it’s not a nasty text on a t-shirt worn by someone across the road. Now that will be awkward to people around you.
Read! From billboards to headlines scrolling on your TV screens, from your baby’s nursery rhyme book to your MBA textbooks, read out everything you read.
Read! I advise you start with simple, familiar text scripts. It could be a Bible scripture or a material in your professional field. Get your close friends and family members to listen to you while you read out loud.
Cultivate the habit of reading out everything you read.
Do not only read in your head, but read with your mouth. This helps build a reading aloud culture, which when developed over time (by consistent practice) will make you sound like a pro when you have to read it to an audience.
2. Train Your Eyes to Read faster than your mouth
Most times, we stumble into mistakes while reading because our mouth and eyes read at the same pace. When your tongue reads faster than your eyes, which unfortunately is the case with quite a lot of public readers, you will stumble into a ditch quicker than a blind man riding a power bike.
This is not some skill you can gain overnight, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t get it at your first couple of tries. With conscious practice, it is very achievable.
Try it out with this next sentence. Let your eyes run through this row of words, as you read out loud to catch up. This way, you’ll see the punctuations and tenses ahead. You’ll also see ahead that word you don’t really like ahead, and find a way to tread carefully as you approach it.
3. Feel The Script. Share The Emotion
Understand your script. Here’s what I mean – I can’t read the result of a scientific research the same way I’ll read an entertainment news story. It will sound different.
It’s really important to understand the emotions behind the script you’re reading. That’s what will enable you deliver it appropriately, by passing the same emotions from the text to the hearts of the readers. It’s the way Pros read.
And some bonus tips…
Keep Those Eyeglasses Close
If you use one, you should see it as a tool for public speaking. You might be required to read out loud, so having your eyeglasses will do you a lot of good.
I know you’ve seen road signs with this inscription, but it also applies to reading. Watch your pace. Start slowly, and build up your speed from there. The pace at which you read can affect your audience’s attention and understanding.
I hope this helps. I should stress that these tips take a lot of practice. You’ve got to WORK it. Consistent practice is the key.
I hope the next time you’re called to read out loud in public; you’ll knock it off like a Pro!