When you read the lessons in your church or synagogue, do the congregants have their heads buried in their bulletins or Bibles or are they focused on you? The lessons are an integral part of every service but too often their messages are lost due to poor reading skills, a boring delivery, breathlessness, lack of volume, or a voice quality that makes the listeners cringe.
While you may believe that the microphone solves any and all of the problems you may be experiencing, the microphone only serves to amplify the bad as well as the good. It is important to understand that if you are not pleased when hearing your voice on your answering machine or voicemail, reading out loud with a microphone only increases that which you don’t like.
Reading out loud effectively takes practice – lots of practice. A guarantee for a less than stellar delivery is reading the lesson over in your mind. Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest mistakes for lectors. You may study the material in your head and go over the name of a place or a person which is difficult to pronounce, but unless you are going over the material out loud, you are not practicing.
It is called a rehearsal. Musicians do it; actors do it; athletes do it; public speakers do it; and, lectors should do it as well! That is your first step in reading out loud effectively. A good idea would be to record yourself and then study the playback.
These are some of the questions you should be addressing when you listen to the recording.
Without a doubt, the most important aspect of reading out loud effectively is not to sound like you are reading. Those who excel at the lectern are those who tell the story by painting a picture with their voice, their facial expression and their body language.
While everyone has the ability to read out loud, doing it well is an art and is something you should consider improving if you are a lector.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!