Being a marketing guru comes with a great deal of responsibility on your shoulders. Not only are you responsible for making sure that your companies business objectives are being met, but you are also expected to speak at leading marketing events where you will need to share marketing tips to help people improve their business. Unfortunately, many individuals in the field of marketing are quite shy and therefore lack the ability to project their voice.
When speaking to a large audience, you are going to be required to speak loud enough so that the attendees in the back of the room can hear you. This means that you are going to need to set aside your introvert tendencies and tap into your extrovert side. One great technique to develop this skill is by learning to read aloud.
For most marketing public speakers, reading aloud is the key to making an impact as a keynote speaker. Improving the ability to read aloud can be achieved by taking classes from drama and voice training teachers, or can be done on one’s own.
Reading Aloud Techniques for Improvement
Here are some ideas that can strengthen reading aloud abilities provided by the Coaching Institute:
1. Random Selection: Select ten books. Pick up each one, randomly open the book and start reading aloud. Read aloud as if presenting the excerpt to an audience, with expression and clarity. Read a paragraph’s worth and then pick up the next book, randomly select a page and do the same task. Complete all ten excerpts one after the other. Choose a variety of texts such as a children’s book, text book, novel, newspaper.
2. Recording the Reader’s Voice: Choose a few excerpts and read into a recorder. Listen to the recorded performance and ascertain weak points. Record again. Recording one’s own voice causes one to give a better performance than speaking to the air.
3. Practicing Fluency in Pairs or “Stop at the Mistake”: This can be done in pairs or with a large group. Each person has a copy of the same text which is read aloud by one student at a time. As soon as there is hesitation or an error the next reader has to take over the reading. At the next error, the following reader takes over and continues reading. This task enables practice in speed and accuracy.
4. Dictionary Words for Words’ Sake: Open a dictionary. Read each word on the page. Each word should be said with the most exaggerated gestures and voice possible to express its meaning. Use gesture, pitch and speed to make each word clear.
Flexing the Voice for Loud Reading
Here are a number of activities to improve your speaking voice.
Choose a selection of excerpts and then:
- Read aloud with exaggerated emotion
- Read in slow motion
- Read as if telling a joke
- Laugh throughout the reading
- Read as if the words are tragic
- Whisper throughout
- Scream while reading as if angry, excited or afraid.
- In pairs, read as if the selection were a dialog. Reader “A” reads the first sentence in a specific way (say, in a gossipy tone). Reader “B” reads the next sentence (for instance in a tone of an old grandmother telling a story.) Continue in this way. The text doesn’t connect with the tone or attitude of the speakers. This is fun and teaches the reader to use expression with no connection to the words.
These are just some activities to help the voice and mind practice reading aloud. Drama activities and dialog role play offer more options for practicing reading in front of an audience. Practicing daily will enable readers to develop their talent for expressive reading. Reading aloud is a skill and anyone can improve their loud reading ability for work, social settings or for sheer enjoyment.