Read the Way You Talk offers instruction for lectors. It presents guidelines for making oral reading meaningful and believable. Three lessons give detailed instructions in eighteen different areas including parallelism, repetition, and pronunciation. Special guidance is provided for using inflection and stressing words. With practice, readers who share the Word of God with others can read as naturally as they speak while they become comfortable with their audience, sure of what they are saying, and confident their message is important.
Part I, "The Word of God in Human Speech," explains why the readings need to be spoken in conversational tone. Part 2, “Rules for Reading Like Talk,” is divided into lessons and contains rules, explanations of techniques, and examples. Read the Way You Talk is a useful resource for lectors, deacons, priests, and leaders who instruct lectors and seminarians.
Jack Hartjes, PhD, is an elementary school teacher. He is a lector and an instructor of lectors at St. Paul's Parish in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
While specific to the role of reading the liturgy in a church setting, Read the Way You Talk is also very highly recommended as a tutorial for anyone having to do recitation or readings in any public, clerical, pastoral, or devotional setting.
The Midwest Book Review
I recommend Read the Way You Talk as an excellent resource for those who have the responsibility of training lectors and Gospel readers. It will be particularly useful for guiding those who have a habit of reading in a particular repeating vocal pattern (sing-song reading), those who know how to study the biblical background but cannot always translate it into a reading that the listener understands immediately, and those preparing passages with long sentences and many ideas.
An excellent guide for training ministers who will act as lectors.
In Read the Way You Talk, the author notes that reading the liturgy in church should be 'like talk'...telling someone what is on your mind. The author, Jack Hartjes, actually creates this same experience in writing his guidebook; it is as though he draws the reader into a personal conversation about reading scripture aloud which is both highly informative and inspiring. Just as he notes people come ‘alive when they talk--that humanness—belong(s) to the celebration of the Word of God,' his work comes alive with the joy of what he has to share with the reader.