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Monday, 21 November 2016 00:37

What are some tips for reading out loud?

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Dont Let Your VoiceWhenever I read in school out of a textbook etc.I get nervous. After about 1 paragraph of reading i start to breathe weirdly, taking breaths before every word until i eventually can’t read. Can someone help me to stop this?

Without knowing you and actually observing you read out loud, it appears you are experiencing performance anxiety.

Reading out loud is a challenging activity for many people. Its like a spotlight is on you and you feel that everyone is waiting for you fail. The words on the paper often take on a life of their own and start moving around so you can’t read them in order. Your breathing going wonky is a physical manifestation of your nervous energy. It has to get out somehow.

At least that how I experienced it back in my school days.

I think standing up and reading in class is a form of torture devised by evil English teachers as a way to cover the fact that they couldn’t actually teach the material. I found it extremely boring listening to my fellow classmates reading, as I had read the book and the particular passages, ages ago.

Part of the stress and anxiety that occurs is due to the fact that you are only told at the last moment what you are going to read. You don’t get a chance to focus on the material in advance and practice reading it out loud.

The only way to actually get better at reading out loud is to actually practice reading out loud, to yourself, to the dog, to the cat, to anyone that will listen. [that’s two too many actuallys in one sentence!]

In any speaking activity, whether you are delivering a speech that you have practiced, an impromptu response where you haven’t had a chance to prepare or reading a passage out loud that someone else has provided, there is at least two processes going on at the same time.

On one level, you are delivering the content, out loud. On the other level, at a higher level and a faster one, you are processing what is going on about you. You need to ask your self questions:

Do I really understand this material?

Am I delivering the content too fast or too slow?

Does my audience look like they are still with me or have I lost them?

Am I having fun with this?

If you have advance warning of the passage you will be reading out loud, it can be beneficial to copy it onto a piece of paper, rather than reading out of a book. I have to do so in a lot of my presentations. I then enlarge the type size so that my aging eyes can easily read the words. As well, I bold or italicize words that I want to emphasize.

Also a psychological mind-set can make a difference. Thinking that you get to read out loud can be more empowering than I have to read out loud.

Practice makes perfect, if you have someone to provide you constructive feedback. Find a trusted friend or family member and ask them for some help. Read to them and ask them how you could improve. They may not have any pearls of wisdom but one little helpful tip might make the difference for you.

Thanks for your question and good luck with your next time under the spotlight.

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Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANEI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic. He is a long-time member of Kelowna Flying Solo Toastmasters and is the driving force behind its long-term success. 

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth


Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or

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Copyright 2015 & 2016 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com

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