Thursday, November 24, 2016

Reading your novel to an audience

Having read some articles on how to read your work to an audience, here are my favourite tips.

  1. Practice the piece before hand. Get a feel for your reading. 
  2. Remember to smile at your audience and look at them from time to time.
  3. Speak slowly. You want to give the audience time to process your words. It's not a race. 
  4. Don't mumble either. Your audience wants to hear your words, speaking too fast or mumbling isn't making it easy for them.
  5. Give meaning to your words as you read. Emphasis some points, give characters their own voices.
  6. Pause as you read and don't forget to breath.
  7. Use body language to help emphasis points.
  8. Respect any time limits imposed at the venue.
As a personal note, one of the reasons that you may read too quickly or forget to breath is that you have a fear of public readings. I had this problem at one stage. I could practice my talk and have it take 8 minutes when I was alone and 6 minutes when I had an audience. Since talking in front of an audience was part of the assessment of the course I was doing, I had to keep doing it.

One day, the fear was gone. The fact that I was standing in front of an audience didn't bother me in the least and it's never bothered me since. So if you find that you are really nervous when talking in front of a group, you do have to remember that they want to hear what you have to say. Plus the practice may well help you get over the fear at some point.

For more, search for "reading your work to an audience"

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