Tuesday, February 1, 2011

9 Author reading tips by Leanne Dyck

I began reading my writing on stage shortly after I published my first book--in 2006. Back then, I was accompanied on stage by a friend who sang. I've read my writing on my remote island home as well as off-island at places such as the Abbotsford Trade Ex. I've also read my writing on local radio and you can find my readings on YouTube. I'm currently enjoying doing podcasts of my readings.

1) Carefully choose an appropriate story--consider the venue and the audience.

2)Practice--it's key
practice in front of a full-length mirror
practice with a timer
practice with noise in the background
practice without noise
practice in front of a select audience
do a dress rehearsal--alone and with others
You get the picture...practice until you almost have it memorized. However, if you're presenting a short story, read from cue cards or better yet a notepad. If you're presenting a newly released book read from the book. 

3)Use coloured pens to fill your manuscript with notes-- reminders to read slower, highlighted words that need to be stressed, and places to pause and look up at your audience.

4) The night before your reading, get a good night's sleep.

5)Arrive early to the event.

6)Take time to check-in. How are you feeling? Are you nervous? Take something for your nervousness--rescue remedy or... Are you excited? Great. 
Excitement creates positive energy. 

7) Step on to the stage and find a friendly face. Exchange a smile. This will give you more confidence and put you at ease. 

8)As you read, project to the people in the last row. 

9)Have fun.  Remember, you're there to entertain--not do heart surgery.
If you make a mistake, try not to let it throw you. The audience won't even notice if you stay calm, cool, and collected.