Tips for Lectors
THE CHURCH SPACE IS LARGE AND RESONANT. It is not equipped with amplifiers and loudspeakers. Here are some tips for readers who want to be heard and understood under those circumstances:
1. DON'T RUSH. When you take your place at the lectern to read, remember that you are among friends. Don't rush into your text: stand there silently for a few seconds to get comfortable. Let the congregation look you over so they can see that you are perfectly at ease and in complete control of the moment.
2. SPEAK LOUDLY. Breath deeply, keep your chin up, and use your diaphragm muscle to speak strongly. The Cleveland Clinic tells us, "The diaphragm is the most efficient muscle of breathing. It is a large, dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs. Your abdominal muscles help move the diaphragm and give you more power to empty your lungs."
Use your diaphragm to project your voice over the lectern, all the way to the rear of the church.
3. SPEAK SLOWLY. Otherwise, reverberation will muddle the sound of your voice.
4. ARTICULATE ALL YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY, even little words like "of," "in," and "and." For example, if the text reads "bag of wind," don't drop the f and pronounce the text as "bag uh wind." Pronounce words carefully. For example, saith is pronounced like seth, not say-ith.
5. EMPHASIZE CONSONANTS, especially final consonants. Otherwise they will be covered up by the reverberation of preceding vowel sounds.
6. USE PAUSES for purposes of interpretation and emphasis.
7. REMEMBER: NO NEED TO RUSH. Speak slowly and steadily all the way to the end of your text. Resist the urge to speed up as you near the end.
8. AT THE END OF THE TEXT, STOP AND PAUSE. Let the text sink in for three or four seconds, then say "Here endeth the reading ," close the book, give it to the Master of Ceremonies, and return to your seat.