The importance of developing reading ability as a public speaker cannot be overemphasized. As a speaker you will constantly be called upon to read passages, testimonials, statements and other written material as part of your presentation. If you read in a flat or uninteresting manner you audience will go to sleep. On the other hand, if your reading is too full of forced or theatrical variety you will lose credibility. Most importantly, if you read without sufficient skill your meaning will be confused or even totally lost to those listening. Thus the need to develop skill in reading aloud the written word before others. Reading written material aloud in a motivating and interesting manner is not as straight forward as it often seems. Why? It is very likely that the material you are reading from was never designed to be presented orally, hence it will be comprised of a different type of language and grammatical structure than every day speech. Your job will be to make the reading appear three-dimensional to the audience, using careful variation in your voice to impart meaning and create diversity. Warmth Words on paper are cold. The natural inclination is to read them in such a manner. To infuse warmth into what is read aloud you must work against what seems normal, swim against the tide. There is no better way to create warmth or enthusiasm in a read presentation than to understand what is being read. In your preparation (yes, you will need to carefully prepare before you read aloud before an audience!) take the time to reflect on its meaning. What is the unspoken message? How would you summarise the read passage in your own words? Are their characters in the reading? What are they like? What principle qualities do they each have? Why have you chosen/been asked to read this selection in your presentation? Obviously there must be something of importance in the reading. What is it?Understanding what you read is a sure-fire way to breathe warmth and life into your delivery without consciously thinking about it. You will find that during your delivery you will be concentrating on the ideas or message behind the reading rather than the words and sentences on paper themselves. Excerpt From: Mark Porter. “The Way With Words.” iBooks. This discussion is continued in detail in “The Way With Words”, by Mark Porter.