How bedtime reading benefitted my business

When I was a journalist I used to joke that I had a voice for newspapers. There was no way I would do radio, let alone TV! There are a couple of reasons for that, including messing up on live TV when I was 6! But also, I couldn’t stand the sound of my own voice. Do you feel like that too?


In fact, the first time I was on the radio was a couple of years ago when my local radio station was looking for people to talk about libraries and a researcher remembered I had written about how great they are for children. The first time I had to do a podcast interview I was pretty terrified.


Recently I realised that I don’t think about my voice at all nowadays and I have no problem saying ‘yes’ to interviews or recording videos. In fact, I am now setting up a Youtube channel for my business.


What changed?


Every night I have to read aloud to my children. I’ve been doing this for 7 years now and while picture books don’t take long, we got on to chapter books last year. Reading Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Five Children and It, and Wind In The Willows meant talking for long periods of time.

Rachel Extance reading Rabbit And Bear The Pest In The Nest

My children currently love the Rabbit and Bear books. We’ve read the first two so far. I have to switch between the two voices and do all the sound effects. It’s fun playing with tone of voice. I love reading books which carry you along like Pirate Stew and The Giant Jam Sandwich.


Of course, the focus is on helping my children get used to the sounds of the words, introduce them to new worlds and see how stories develop. But the benefit for me has been getting used to the sound of my own voice, so I don’t even notice it anymore, and getting better at intonation and thinking about how I deliver what I am saying.


It’s World Book Day this week and you don’t need to be a child to join in. If you want to get used to speaking out loud, try grabbing a book. You might feel awkward reading out loud to start with, but you won’t notice after a while and if video, doing interviews on podcasts, or public speaking are on your agenda, it could really help. Plus you get to enjoy the book!

If you are interested in any of the books I have mentioned in this article, then you can find them at These are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase, I might earn a commission payment.

Picture of Rachel Extance

Rachel Extance

Award-winning journalist and blogger. I help service-based business owners communicate who they are, what they do, and why. If you struggle to talk about yourself on your website or your content marketing, get in touch with me.

Share this


Read more

2 Responses

  1. I wonder if your way of speaking changed as a result of this practice? I kind of suspect it did. And I bet you got a lot of positive feedback from the wee ones, which is always good for self-confidence! I love this story—how often do we think about the importance of parents reading to our children, and how do we value it? Is it really just for them? It sounds like you’re saying it’s not that at all. 🙂

  2. Great post, Rachel, about my favourite things: books and reading. A simple, actionable way to get over what is a very natural stumbling block for many people. As I reflect on the many hours I have read out loud to my children, I also wonder how important it is that we aren’t worried about what they think of us when we read so we are able to let down our guard and just do it. In a professional sense, I know that over the years when I’ve felt less prepared or less enthusiastic about a topic, I might also feel more critical about hearing my own voice. Yet it isn’t my voice as much as the lack of clarity or passion coming through. Reading my own writing out loud has also been a revelation in recent times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. The Story Cave Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.