Why would you whisper while you worked?

Maybe you're a librarian, or a baby is sleeping nearby.

If not, you might want to keep the wrong people from overhearing your trade secrets. My reasons for whispering while I work pertain to performing tricks of my trade—editing secrets that I’m happy to share with you!

The purpose of reading aloud is to gain valuable feedback about your intended communication before you share it. Also, whispering has unique benefits:
 Preventing other people from overhearing you for your privacy and/or as a courtesy to them
Saving your voice, especially when you’re covering a great amount of content
• Maintaining some neutrality in your tone (which is harder to do when speaking in a normal voice) to aid your objectivity

Whether you choose to whisper or speak out, reviewing orally delivers important insights:
Gauging your reaction to words and phrasing upon hearing them said versus in your head
Does the contrast in the tones come through more clearly when you read the two different versions here aloud?
1. We have everyone working to get the full report to you on Thursday. I guarantee you’ll have the summary by Tuesday.
2. There’s no need to get all worked up about this. You’ll have the summary on Tuesday and the full report on Thursday.

Identifying mistakes that are easily overlooked in a silent review
First scan the three sentences that follow and then read them aloud. When did you catch the errors?
1. Please join us in celebrating they grand opening on Wednesday, October 13.
2. Susan asked me to find a position for her help on the committee.
3. Whitfield’s is not ideal for a lunch meeting because the decimal level is too high.
1. the grand
2. to help
3. decibel level

Recognizing that your sentences and/or paragraph blocks are too long—
or your punctuation isn’t working for you—because reading aloud leaves you breathless

Does the information flow from your lips at a comfortable pace, or would pauses help you more easily say (and your readers more easily absorb) the content?
1. No time to breathe:

If you have considered taking a writing class, this is a great time, as a variety of business and creative options for all levels are widely offered in person and online by reputable institutions and taught by credentialed instructors, enabling you to hone your skills while earning educational credits, which is why we encourage you to search our catalogue or contact us for assistance. (Gasp!)

2. Enough time to pause:

Have you considered taking a writing class?

Reputable institutions are now offering a variety of options—business and creative—at all levels. Credentialed instructors also teach online and in person. 

Now is the time to hone your skills while earning educational credits!

We encourage you to search our directory or contact us for assistance.

Noting any pronunciations to clarify or phrases to revise when content to be delivered orally (by you or someone else) has you guessing or tongue-tied
Besides addressing problematic phrasing, do you need to insert any phonetic spelling?
1. I am pleased to introduce our speaker, Cian (KEE-an) McMahon (Mc-Man).
2. Enhancing the summer sunsets, Stacey selected soft, shimmery shades, such as seashell-pink paint in a satin finish for the salon’s ceiling and walls. (Yikes!)

Reviewing your content orally can take a little more time than reading silently, but don’t rush. Simply determine the pace at which you can concentrate. Importantly, if your mind is wandering even though you’re speaking slowly and enunciating every word, then either address what’s wrong or revisit the task another time.

Listen … it’s so easy to adopt the habit of whispering while you work, and the rewards are tremendous!

My best to you,
Sallie W. Boyles, a.k.a. Write Lady

Thoughts or questions? Please contact Sallie Boyles, owner of Write Lady Inc., to exchange ideas about effective communications and gain from professional writing and editing services. Receive monthly tips and insights by subscribing at https://WriteLady.com.