In two days I will be reading a short segment from my YA Portal Fantasy. Part of my prize from the writing competition I won is getting to do a reading at Word on the Street. I had to pick a five-six minute section to read… out loud… in front of PEOPLE! As you might have noticed I’m a bit nervous about the whole thing.
My biggest worry for the reading was that I would read too fast. I am naturally a quick speaker. If you get me excited or nervous I speak even faster. While I knew the right reading speed should feel slow, I wasn’t sure HOW slow. I did the only thing a logically minded person could do. I googled it. By chance I stumbled across a great little fact. The target speed for an audio book is 150 words per minute. Perfect! I now knew I needed a section about 750 words long.
In my day job I don’t do a lot of public speaking and, like many people, actively avoid it when I can. I know the basics: Don’t fidget, avoid the word um, stand up straight, and speak clearly. It all sounds so easy when you talk about it. In real life I tend to have sweaty palms, shaky hands, and if I am really unlucky a wobbly voice. Google (the great and mighty google to the rescue again) tells me all will be well if I practice, try to look up at least a few times, and enjoy the moment. I’m not too sure about that last one, but I will try.