When I think back to grade school, I still break out into a sweat remembering the horror of being called on unexpectedly by a teacher and asked to read a passage aloud. You always had the feeling that you were one stammer or mispronunciation away from being ostracized.
My wife, who is a teacher but still takes advanced education classes, recently asked me to help her with an assignment. My job? Read the paper she wrote aloud. And you know what? The tactic that she employs with her second grade class could be beneficial to bloggers.
You might look like a fool, but here are a few reasons to read your blog posts aloud.
DOES THE POST CAPTURE YOUR VOICE?
It’s easy to lose your way when you’re churning out blog posts and juggling a million tasks (on top of your already busy life!). One of the first things writers tend to lose is their tone. By reading your posts aloud you will be able to discover if the words sound like you. Ask yourself: If this post were to get picked up by major media, does it do me justice? Listen to hear if your main points are strong enough and if your arguments compelling.
SPOT GRAMMAR/SPELLING ERRORS
If you read the way I do, you occasionally catch yourself skipping over blocks of text. Call it ADHD or a product of the digital age, whatever it is, it could lead to some ugly errors. By consuming your post in a different format, you get to double-check that the punctuation makes sense. These little symbols exist to bring law and order to our wordy world. Without them we would have chaos.
CHECK THE LENGTH
Maintaining a person’s interest is difficult work (see ADHA reference above!). If you read your blog post aloud and don’t find that you are captivating YOURSELF, then there’s a problem. You can pepper your post with all the stylistic flair and photos in the world, but if the copy reads flat – it is flat. Time for a re-write.
After reading my wife’s paper to her, I asked her to return the favor. I had her read several of my own blog posts aloud, and I found room to improve each one. Reading your own work aloud is great, having someone else read your work aloud is even better.
I’m sure there are other benefits to reading your work aloud. Share your advice and feedback below.