Slide 9: Eight Steps Continued

Slide 09

Step 6 Every time and immediately before speaking, inhale deeply.

Take a quick, deep “belly breath.” It will: slow your speaking speed, comfortably enable each word to reach and easily be heard by the rear-most congregants. It will also enable for the last syllable of the last word in every sentence to be clearly heard. It will eliminate throat strain, increase the richness of your voice, enable clearer pronunciation and facilitate eye contact.

When you proclaim, pause and quickly, deeply inhale at every comma and period as well as at each change of thought, speaker and scene. Only then will you have the optimal lung power to project your voice that will be heard easily in the rear.

Virtually all church sound systems have dead spots which your projection needs to overcome. 

If the Mass is crowded you must project much more since bodies absorb lots of sound. For example at Christmas, Easter, First Communion, Confirmation and other large liturgies.

You are encouraged to increase your lung capacity and power. See Google, muscles of respiration and deep breathing exercises for intercostal muscles and diaphragm.

Step 7 With the rear-most people, make and hold eye contact:

  • for the entire opening line, “A Reading from . . . “,
  • pause for two seconds, then each time when speaking a word or phrase which refers to the theme,
  • then again for all of the last sentence which is spoken at a decelerating rate,
  • then finally, after a three second pause, while proclaiming, “The Word of the Lord.”

If you hold eye contact with people in the front or middle of the congregation your voice projection will not reach the rear-most. It will reach only where you look. 

Consider making eye contact with people in the front and middle only when you are silent.

The more text you memorize, the easier the eye contact.