I was asking myself this question and I decided to do a bit of research on my own. After skimming the web, I found that there is much more to reading out loud than I initially thought.
In this article, I will be sharing 10 benefits to reading out loud that may convince you to implement this strategy in your own life.
The chief benefits to reading out loud are a boost in confidence when speaking and an increased retention of information. Reading out loud helps you to fine tune small facets of your speech that translates into more confidence. The superior retention of information comes with the stimulation of multiple cognitive aspects.
There are a bounty of other benefits that complement these major benefits. To get a thorough understanding of all of the benefits of reading, read through the comprehensive list below.
1.) Helps with Enunciation
Have a hard time with enunciation? Reading out loud can help fix that.
The more you read out loud, the more repetition you get with speaking. Practicing reading out loud on a frequent basis will allow you to experiment with strategies to polish your speech.
For example, reading out loud can allow you to practice slowing yourself down when you speak. You can slow down and pause as much as you would like. This practice can assist you to keep a steady pace and to avoid slurring your words.
If you struggle with public speech or have a tendency to mumble, reading out loud is a must.
2.) Assists with Voice Inflection
Reading out loud improves your voice inflection. Specific words in a reading passage carry a certain stress to them. When you articulate these passages out loud, you can begin to explore stressing these peculiar words.
Emphasizing certain words may hurt the meaning of the message you are trying to convey, whereas emphasizing other words may enhance it.
Forming the habit of reading out loud allows you to be more efficient with your breaths as well. Surprisingly, taking deep breaths throughout your speech plays a crucial role in voice inflection.
When under duress, people tend to take quick, hollow breaths. This faulty breathing technique can make your conversational tone sound tense and uneasy. Reading out loud can aid in eliminating this bad habit from your speech and keeping calm under pressure.
Voice exaggeration influences intonation to a great extent. Monotone speakers typically struggle with exaggerating their sentences. If you are one of these types of speakers, reading out loud can support you in overcoming this problem.
With reading out loud, venturing onto seemingly uncomfortable grounds will do wonders with improving your speech. Exaggerating your voice beyond what you would typically perceive as ‘normal’ will encourage you to abandon a monotone voice over time.
By pushing your comfort zone, the uncomfortable will eventually become comfortable.
3.) More Confident in Conversation
Improved enunciation and superior voice inflection will carry you to becoming more confident in conversation long term.
Practicing reading out loud will fuel these seeds of confidence and allow them to blossom over time. All of that reading repetition will help you to keep an even keel when stressed out. As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect.
Keeping a level tone of voice will make you sound confident. Seeing people better respond when you speak will inspire you to genuine confidence. With constant practice, this cycle will perpetually renew. Before you know it, the world will see you as a first-rate speaker!
4.) Supports Better Speaking Engagement
Improvements in your speech fundamentals and confidence will aid in engaging your audience.
Reading a variety of passages can expose you to a conglomerate of various sentence structures and peculiar worded passages.
This exposure can lead you to introduce subtle nuances in your speech that can make a large difference in grabbing the attention of your peers.
For example, deliberate pauses can be a powerful tool in enhancing the suspense of your conversational message. However, the power behind these pauses is all about the timing.
If done at the wrong time, these pauses could potentially harm the communication of your message rather than help it. It would be troublesome to detect the optimal times to utilize these pauses without the exercise of reading out loud.
5.) Better Retainment of Content
Interacting with a passage on multiple levels results in an improved absorption of the content material.
The simultaneous action of both talking out loud and hearing yourself read internally helps to better encode information into the long term memory.
Scientific studies have proven this phenomenon, which the authors at the University of Waterloo in Canada coined the “production effect.”
Reading out loud stimulates multiple cognitive senses, which results in better retention of the material you are trying to learn. Rather than attacking the information on one front, it is better to attack it from a multitude of cognitive fronts.
If you are looking to get the biggest bang from your buck when it comes down to studying, reading out loud seems to be the most efficient route.
6.) Increases Vocabulary
Written passages inevitably contain some unfamiliar words that we do not know the meaning of.
By reading out loud, you are forcibly exposed to these words. These words are not simply just thrown at you. They are thrown at you in an appropriate context that demonstrates its meaning and correct usage.
This allows you to hint at the exact definition of this word and assume how to incorporate it into everyday language.
A thorough vocabulary is helpful in a variety of settings, from school to work to simply talking with friends. The added benefit of an expanded vocabulary should not be overlooked when it comes to reading out loud.
7.) Improves Reading Skill
Repetition with reading out loud not only helps with your speech, it helps with reading as well. Reading is a staple of everyday society. It is everywhere we go, whether it be reading the latest Internet news article or studying a textbook for the big test.
Improving your reading skill will ultimately help you to become more fluent in your everyday tasks.
By reading out loud, you are building up a diverse reading foundation. The more exposure you get with reading, the better.
This habit can be especially beneficial if you switch up the types of passages you read.
You can alternate between simple prose such as poems and then progress to longer, convoluted passages like that of Shakespeare. This way, you will be fluid in a variety of reading environments so that nothing can stump you.
8.) Prevents You From Reading Too Fast
Reading in your head can occasionally cause you to go into overdrive. When you are on a time crunch or under stress, it can be tempting to push beyond a comfortable reading pace and attempt to speed read.
Often times, this strategy can backfire since you are most likely unable to comprehend such an immense amount of content in such a short timeframe. This can cause you to waste time backtracking and trying to make sense of what you just read.
Ultimately, you will end up in a worse place than where you started.
Reading out loud can help to prevent this. There is a limit to how fast any one individual can talk. Consequently, there is no temptation to speed read and hope for the best.
Skipping words is not an option with reading out loud. Reading out every single word is the only option there is. As a result, you will be forced to interact with the content at a steady pace, which will stop you from going beyond your reading pay grade.
9.) Forces You to Look Up Word Pronunciations
Have you ever come across a word that you recognize on paper but don’t know how to say? We have all been there.
It is easy to skim past a word like this if you are reading internally. You have the lazy privilege of forgetting that word ever existed.
Reading out loud forces you to look up these word pronunciations rather than skittering past it like you normally would. This aids in your grasp of language. It broadens the range of words at your disposal when you need to communicate something clearly.
Searching for definitive pronunciations can give you the confidence you need to say a word that is not typically in your everyday speech. Reading out loud not only helps you talk more clearly, but helps you to become a more precise communicator as well.
10.) Aids in Nonverbal Communication
Try reading out loud without communicating nonverbally. Impossible right? Reading out loud indirectly helps with your nonverbal communication.
For example, when you are practicing to make your voice louder, you may end up straightening up your posture to support this change. When you are attempting to exaggerate your phrases to stray away from a monotone voice, you may find that your facial expressions exaggerate more as well.
Verbal communication and nonverbal communication are interconnected. If verbal communication is exercised, nonverbal communication is exercised as well. You cannot get one without the other.
How long should I read out loud per day to receive these benefits?
At least ten to fifteen minutes per day should suffice.
Consistency is key. How you break up your reading out loud practice is ultimately up to you.
If you prefer to read all of your passages in one session, go for it! If you would rather break up your reading passages into more manageable chunks, that works too!
Results vary depending on the individual, so do not be afraid to experiment.
After implementing a daily routine of reading out loud, how much time will pass before I see the full effect of these benefits?
It depends on the individual and how many minutes you read out loud per day.
Typically, you can see results within about two months of steady practice. Some individuals may see results sooner, while others may see results much later.
Again, results vary depending on the individual.