Okay, so you've decided to join the ranks of the Readers Theater testers. What in the world do you tell the students? How do you get the best out of them that will really help build them as leaders? Here are a few tips based on years of experience and a little research...
Tip #1: Stand/sit tall. (Like a string is pulling your head and body up to the ceiling.)
Tip #2: Hold your script up so you can see and speak over the top of it.
Tip #3: Try to look up once in awhile.
Tip #4: Speak loudly and clearly, not too fast.
Tip #5: Face the audience and speak to them.
Tip #6: Become your character and react in the story. Gestures are great!
Key #1: Wait to speak if the audience is laughing. They want to hear you!
Key #2: Ignore mistakes. Let the teacher or director deal with it.
Key #3: Focus on interpreting the character for the audience.
Key #4: Do your best. Even adults make mistakes reading aloud!
Key #5: Speak loudly and clearly, not too fast.
Key #6: Have fun! Relax! Smile! If you enjoy your performance, so will your audience.
BONUS TIP: For great vocal projection, breathe deeply. Breathe from the deep. When you take a deep breath, your shoulders should not go up. But, your stomach should push out naturally--not forced.
To really feel this lay on the floor on your back with your hands on your stomach. Take a deep breath. In a deep breath your hands will be pushed up some naturally. (This is a technique used by voice teachers to increase awareness of where the breath comes from.)
NOTE: Everyone knows a leader needs to be able to project. One way to build leadership skills is encouraging students to project their voices across a room. When the microphone is not working, what else will a leader do?