Thank you so much for agreeing to read in one of our upcoming services. But before you do, we want to share a few tips with you to help make this moment a great experience for you and those in the congregation. Public speaking of any kind can cause anxiety in people, and our hope is that after reading this you will feel a bit more prepared and confident to speak in front of a large group.
Focus on your preparation.
- Be familiar with the text and the context. Be sure you understand what is happening in the text before and after the passage you will be reading. Unsure how to say a particular word in the passage? Find out how to pronounce words or names you are not familiar with ahead of time to give yourself some extra confidence. If you are uncertain how to say a specific name or word, you can listen to the audio Bible online atbible.com (click the audio tab), or reach out to your campus pastor for clarification.
Be aware of your pacing.
- As a general rule, slow down. Nerves often cause us to speak faster which can devalue the text, make our voices unnaturally high pitched, or cause listeners to miss key words or phrases. Also, pay attention to the punctuation of the passage. It will help guide you in where the pauses and emphases should be.
As you read, be mindful of your posture.
- When you are reading on stage, it is best to stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart, with one foot slightly in front of the other. Hold what it is that you are reading from (the Bible, card, or piece of paper) chest or neck high, so that you can see the text and make eye contact with those listening.
Before you show up to read in a service, be sure to practice.
- Read the passage out loud five or six times in front of a mirror. Enunciate each word, but do so in your natural way of speaking. Before the service begins, you will have the opportunity during our service run-through, to practice reading the text with a microphone so the sound does not startle or distract you in the actual service. Pay attention to the direction you are projecting and your proximity to the microphone both in run through and during the service.
Before you read on stage, pray.
- Pray for God to be glorified as you read his word. Ask God to help you read as if each person must hear every word as though his or her life depended on it, because it does.
Finally, let the weightiness of what you’re doing flow through the presentation.
- Now, don’t be bothered by the word “presentation.” Just remember, you are presenting God’s word to people. Take a deep breath before you begin, then breathe naturally. Read with a clear, strong, confident voice. And have faith that God is at work as you read his word.
Thank you for taking the time to watch this and prepare for your part in our upcoming service. What we do in our services shapes and forms us as a worshiping community and we are honored that you would be part of that with us!