Can You Read?

This is an article by Dr Ralph Smedley in the Toastmasters Magazine, Dec 1963, pp 12-13:

Of course you can read; that is, you can read to yourself. But can you read aloud, to other people?

A great many people, some of them able speakers, seem unable to speak from a script in a satisfactory manner. They permit the script to break contact with the audience, and thus impair the effect of what they are saying.

You need look no further than your TV screen for evidence of this. Observe how speakers appear when reading from script. Note how the speaker glue his eyes to the copy which he is reading, and merely pronunces the words as though no one else are present.

Perhaps he glances up for an instant now and then, giving you the impression that he is winking at you. Perhaps he stops speaking when he looks up to see if you are still there, and so breaks the continuity.

Even some of our great political leaders are guilty of such mis-conduct, and some of our most experienced newscasters have the same bad habits.

Perhaps you are guilty, yourself!

Every speaker should be able to read from script without permitting it to come between him and his hearers. He should learn to look ahead in his reading, so that he can speak a sentence without looking at the script. He should be familiar with this materials that he can give the gist of it without being confined absolutely to the written or printed text.He should sultivate fluency and smoothness in his reading.

You can gain good experience by reading aloud when you are at home, or when you are alone. Practice looking ahead as you read, and see how many words or sentences you can grasp at a glance. If a member of the family will listen to you, see how much of the time you can keep your eyes on the auditor.

It will pay you, in your club, to undertake practice in reading. The program committee should frequently arrange for such reading practice.

And you might refer to Project Seven, in your Basic Training manual, for additional help.

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