04.09.09

How To…Public Reading Tips – Presentations

Posted in Author, How To, Presentations, Publicity Tips, Tips, writing at 1:34 pm by Sylvia Ramsey

Presentation Tips

Tips on Public Readings Cont….

 

Preparation:  Read your selection aloud, and think about the meaning of the words you have written. Pay attention to each sentence and think about what images/feelings you are trying to convey. Underline the key word(s) in each sentence and think about ways to emphasize the word(s) when reading the passage. Imagery words should sound like the image they are describing.  If you were reading a sad passage, you would not want to have a jovial light sound in your voice.  If you are expressing anger, think about how much anger the character in the selection is feeling.  The rate, pitch and volume should reflect these things. 

 

Vocal contrast and body language is important: Think about varying your volume, rate, tone, and gestures at different points of the reading. Avoid monotone delivery.  Facial expressions, eye contact that is appropriate for the portion of the script you are presenting, gestures and body language should all reflect the emotions and the tone of the selection.  Knowing when, where and how to do these things will all help to make your delivery believable.  Make sure, before you begin that you can be heard by everyone in the audience.  Speak slowly enough that the audience can follow you.  Practice enunciation so that you say the words clearly and distinctly.  Gestures should not be overdone, but should be natural to the presenter.  Practice enough so that they flow, and are a part of you and the selection, not stilted and mechanical.

 

The places you mark in your script will help you practice and have a polished delivery. Do not forget marking pauses in your selection. These do not need to come at the end of a sentence, but rather at the end of a complete thought.  The length of pauses varies depending on their purpose.  You can compare their length to beats in music.  At the end of a complete thought, a slight pause is best (one beat), for a comma or semi-colon a little longer (one to two beats), and at the end of a sentence or for a dramatic pause in the selection about a three beat seems to be appropriate.

 

When reading poetry, read it for meaning not the form in which it is written.  If it has a heavy rhyme/rhythm scheme, be careful that your delivery does not get so caught up in it that the audience will lose out on the message.  We tend to lower our pitch at the end of a line…when we do we are giving is a vocal period; a verbal close to a sentence.  If there is no period and the sentence is carried into the next line, keep the vocal pitch up, and place a pause where appropriate.

 

Energy Level:  Increase your energy level when speaking—this will boost your volume, make you appear to be more confident, and hold your audience’s interest for a longer period of time.  I can always gauge how much I have put into a reading by how tired I am after a performance.  Remember this is a performance, you want to bring your work alive!

 

 

More Reading Tips to Come…..

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