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.
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.
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 Bookshop.org. These are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase, I might earn a commission payment.
I have a confession to make: I like World Book Day. UNESCO’s celebration of books and reading is marked in 100 countries but many parents dread it because children are encouraged to go to