One of the things children’s book authors get asked to do quite frequently is to come to story hour at the library or to visit school classrooms. When doing so, many are usually asked to read their books aloud or portions of their books. If you’ve ever listened to an audio book, you know there’s an art to reading aloud. So, you’d better practice. As one author put it: “A well delivered reading leaves your audience something more precious and potent than a bookmark: a memory, a connection, a personal bond between readers and writer.”
Here are a few tips to help you read your book to a captive audience—whether it’s a group of teachers attending an in-service session on children’s lit or a circle of wide-eyed youngsters sitting on the floor for during story hour at the local library.
(1) Practice, practice, practice so your reading is smooth and your pacing not too fast.
(2) Be aware of your posture and your breathing.
(3) Make eye contact—this is easier to do when you are comfortably familiar with what you’re reading.
(4) Read slowly, enunciating each word.
(5) Keep your voice low—most nervous people find their voices take on a higher, more strident pitch.
(6) Practice reading standing up and practice doing so sitting down. Be prepared for whatever arrangements have been made before you get to the event.
(7) Try to have fun. After all, you’re the author. The audience has come to hear you read your book—or a portion of your book. Enjoy the attention.