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How To Make Reading Aloud More Exciting

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

January 21, 2014

Comments (3)

Mother and daughter reading a book together. Smiling :)Are there times when your voice needs to work double duty?

In addition to keeping hydrated, breathing well and regularly modulating your voice, doing silly characters and vocal acrobatics can also keep your mind and voice engaged during long periods of vocalizing, particularly as it relates to the spoken word.

How do you keep going? What can you do to spur yourself on?

Whether you're practicing, proofreading or simply reading aloud for the sheer joy of it, you'll want to try some of the ideas shared in today's VOX Daily!

Game On!

Recently, I had the opportunity to read aloud for an extended period of time, indeed for much of my working day.

While reading, I found that to help make the material come alive and not tire my voice, I needed to change the style in which I read as well as fluctuate in pitch. Sometimes I'd change the register I was speaking in and other times, I'd get louder or softer.

The tome in question had to do with voice acting with a word count surpassing 10,000 words.

At one point, I brought what could be considered character voices and accents into the mix. I tried to stay away from a British type of accent because I tend to fall out of those quite easily and instead veered toward French and something that could barely pass for Transatlantic.

You can just see it, can't you? Hands gesturing, arms in motion, pulling out all the stops. Ah, the joys of reading aloud when you believe that you're alone!

With my editor's cap on, I was able to fly from paragraph to paragraph in this way, nimbly voicing here and there...until the phone rang. Perhaps I should have let the call go, perhaps not. What to do but answer it?

Isn't it funny how one is interrupted while in character? How unexpected, how disorienting!

If I've gone through something like this, chances are you may have had a similar experience. Maybe reading aloud even inspired you to do something. For me, it was to write this post.

During the course of reading a lengthy document, you start to hear not only your voice, but sometimes the voice of a narrator. For me, that voice for the span of five or six words happened to belong to Scott Brick. At any rate, do say I'm not alone in this!

Isn't the creative process a beautiful thing?

What About You?

What sort of things have you done vocally to make reading aloud more engaging?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

ŠiStockphoto.com/Kali Nine LLC


    I'm not someone who is comfortable on stage, but that discomfort melts when I am reading aloud and sharing picture books as introductions to our art lessons with my elementary school-aged classes. While I read in my own voice, I do keep other voices close to me as inspiration--a particular favorite is Sir Patrick Stewart, and his wonderful rendition of A Christmas Carol. I play with tone, and, quicker than I realize, find myself leaning into a variety of character voices, but pacing--and pausing, for emphasis--are especially effective vocal tools for me that I will pull out of my "actors bag" when reading aloud to young children, or narrating a children's audiobook behind the mic. Thanks for an inspiring read Stephanie!

    Posted by:

      At the dear old Mountview Theatre (London UK) some of us went through a phase of performing or singing the words on the side of a shampoo bottle, or a list of lighting cues. Not on stage, in the dressing room - but it was a great unstresser.

      Posted by:

        Standing or sitting in front of my mirror in my professional studio each day with hand gestures and arms in motions, I become the character behind the mic. I'm good at with I do.

        Posted by:
        • Roy Lynn Wert
        • February 4, 2014 2:00 PM

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