General Performance Hints
Figure out how you want to recite this.
Read the piece. Figure out what words or phrases are important to you and what tone of voice (happy, sad, angry, lonely, etc.) you want to use.
The first time normally isn’t very good. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read a piece, reciting it is a different thing. If you’re recording your recitation, figure that you’ll have to do multiple takes.
Speak at a normal rate. There aren’t prizes for fastest recitation.
When we’re nervous, we tend to speak faster. It’s natural. But that gets in your way here. We tend to run our words together when we speak quickly, making ourselves harder to understand.
Speak at a normal volume
Whispering is not your friend here. Your voice needs to be loud and clear enough that your audience can hear it.
If you stumble keep going.
If you’re live in front of an audience, odds are they’ll ignore your stumble if you don’t call attention to it, After all, you know what you want to say, your audience doesn’t.
However, if they do ask about it afterward, you can always say it was deliberate then come up with a reason why.
If you’re recording yourself, finish the recording then listen. If it’s not bad, you can turn it in if you like, Or you can delete it and try again. At some point, you’ll probably record something about ten times, never getting it quite right, then you’ll just give up and go “This is the best one. I’m done.”
That’s okay We’ve all done it. I have done recordings like this in six languages, and trust me, it happened to me several times.
Remember to hit the final consonant sounds.
In normal conversation, many people tend to drop the final consonant in words, especially if that consonant is /t,d,s,z/. This is more formal speech, so you need to pronounce them, As an example, the man’s name is Robert Frost, not Robber Fros.
For poetry, remember, it normally has a rhythm.
This isn’t always the case, but where it is the case, you either have to follow it, or come up with your own. But if you come up with your own, make sure you’re consistent with it,
Your tone of voice matters.
You shouldn’t sound bored or over it. The tone of your voice should display emotion. You shouldn’t sound like a robot.
These are guidelines.
When you look at the notes on the individual poems, remember that they are guidelines. You can interpret the piece however you like. Just remember that you have to be able to explain your choices.