Reading Aloud–it’s not just for kids!

Author and friend Jack Falvey writes a Daily Sales Tip (if you are interested in sales and influencing – it’s free and highly recommended–more information at the end). A recent one has application to bookworms and parents.

As sales professionals, we are all public speakers. The audience is usually only one or two people, but we earn our living delivering a verbal message. On occasion we address a conference room full of people, and sometimes larger groups. Reading aloud is an exercise professional public speakers do on a regular basis. It allows them to listen to their own voice without performance distractions. Being comfortable with how you sound to yourself is a good start on being comfortable with how you sound to others. Do you speak too fast? Do you know where to pause and for how long? Can you make eye contact with people while you are reading?

If you have young children, read aloud to them. If you are early for an appointment, read your pre-call objective and answers to your customer’s basic questions to the windshield of your car. When given a chance to use a microphone, take it. Get as comfortable as you can speaking in front of people. The more you do of it, the more relaxed you will get. With practice you will be able to slow down in pressure situations. You will use confident pauses for emphasis, and the pitch of your voice will not noticeably deviate. All this from daily reading out loud.

That’s just excellent advice all around. (I’m not sure Jack really meant to suggest we literally read to the windshield while driving—I do, however, (more…)