Reading aloud is a fear for many no matter what age. Speaking in public can make us feel so self-conscious because all attention is directed towards you, and only you. We are first introduced to it in school when we must read out loud from books or answer questions in front of our peers. Then when you are older you hold presentations in front of the class. As you become an adult you might have to hold longer presentations at work, so in one way or another, it can be beneficial to work on those reading aloud skills. As reading aloud and speaking in public will follow us throughout our lives, it is important to start your kids on the right path in teaching them skills to be comfortable in those moments.
Being comfortable with reading out loud isn’t only isolated to school and presentations. This skill is highly connected to our self-confidence and practicing it will come in handy in many situations such as job interviews or discussions because the more confident you are the less nervous you will seem.
One tried and true method to becoming better at reading aloud no matter what the situation asks for is to continue telling yourself you are good at it. The more you tell yourself you can do something the more you will be able to do it.
Practice, then practice, then practice some more!
It might seem redundant to say but truly the first step and perhaps most important step is to practice. This means you must start reading out loud even if it’s just to an empty room. Knowing the words, you are going to say will help you go into autopilot mode when you are doing it in front of other people.
Embrace your inner actor!
The best tip I ever got was when someone told me that whenever you have to speak in front of people no matter the event (class, school play, presentations/exams) you are stepping into a role like an actor. Just like an actor you are now playing the role of a person who is excellent at reading/speaking in public. That person in that role doesn’t feel self-conscious or scared when they speak in public. Maybe you when you are alone in your room feel scared of reading out loud but when you step outside that door you are a person who not only can read aloud you can do it better than anyone else.
Build yourself up!
Walking hand in hand with the above point, building your confidence is key. This starts at home with you. Speak to yourself kindly, give yourself a break when you need it, and do not apologize for who you are. Be confident in who you are and your ability, because we are all smart and capable!
Remind yourself, people are busy thinking about themselves!
It's true. Most people are too preoccupied thinking about themselves and their insecurities even when they are watching someone else. Rather than focusing on the people in front of you imagine you are reading aloud in front of someone you trust. Perhaps it's a good friend, or a parent, maybe even a sibling that you feel completely comfortable with and that is the person you are reading for.
Reading aloud can be scary and that’s okay. We are complicated beings made up of a lot of automatic responses that might be difficult to understand sometimes. When we feel scared of things such as reading aloud it is easy to be frustrated with yourself, but making mistakes is a part of the process and what makes us better. Continue to reinforce forgiveness, as it will teach your kids to enjoy the successes when it comes to reading and speaking aloud.
The funny thing is many people who we consider to be great at reading out loud or speaking in front of large groups of people all feel nervous about it. To the viewer, you will never seem as nervous as you feel on the inside remember that!