Select the proper piece of PROSE. It should be a story 500 words—or less. Really, you don’t have to use all three minutes. Nothing wrong with leaving your audience wanting more…. Edit with a razor. Look at every word. Does it belong? Does it contribute to the meaning? Is there a strong narrative voice? Vivid imagery? Practice reading your work out loud. Can you read it (without rushing) in three minutes? If not, go back and cut more words out.
Stand up straight. Seriously, this is important as it will allow you to breathe better utilizing your diaphragm to its fullest potential.
Breathe. Don’t forget to breath. Besides being really embarrassing to pass out from lack of oxygen, if you breathe throughout your piece, you’ll avoid those awkward gasps between paragraphs.
Know the microphone. Generally you’ll want to be about 6 to 12 inches away and slightly off to the side, but some microphones require you to be right up front and close. If there is no microphone, make sure you project your voice—this is where standing up straight and breathing will come in handy.
Speak slowly, clearly, and vary your tone and rhythm. This will create interest, and allow your audience time to process what you’re saying. Pause. Create a space for your listener to visualize.
Look up. Your audience wants to see more than the top of your head! Make eye contact. Smile….
Don’t be THAT reader, the one who reads and leaves, or the one who shows up only to promote their latest book. Instead, be a good community member, one who respects fellow DimeStoriers and listens to their stories. And even though as writers, we are mostly a bit socially awkward, take a chance– be the one who hangs around and welcomes new folks.