In this very brief article I want to share a few thoughts on reading your work
aloud in public, fiction or non-fiction.
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This is a very short article, brought on by a question spotted on a forum. Someone was asking for tips on public readings, so I thought I'd share.
My absolute number one tip is this: DO NOT PUT YOURSELF DOWN.
When you stand up to read your piece, don't apologise for your work, don't tell them it needs another polish, and don't say you're just an amateur. (Or words to that effect.)
I've seen & heard people do exactly that, and it ruins the reading. One guy spent almost as long apologising before and after as he did reading the piece.
I'm not saying you'd do that, but the natural reaction is for people to apologise in advance in case the reading isn't riveting, engaging and mind blowing. Well, stuff that.
What you have to do is get up and act. Pretend you're a professional. Pretend it's the best thing you've ever written, and they're all going to love it. Pretend, pretend, pretend. If you do that, the audience will go along.
When you finish they're all going to clap anyway, so there's no pressure. Enjoy the experience and always grab every opportunity to read aloud.