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Reading Dr. Seuss Books Makes Better Speakers

Aug 17, 2007
After years of reading books and of also reading stories to children, I've found that books by the late American author Dr. Seuss, also known as Theodor "Ted" Seuss Geisel (1904-1991), are by far the most energizing and useful publications where exercising your vocal and acting techniques are concerned.

The works of Dr. Seuss present us with a wealth of tongue twisting, intellectually stimulating and highly unique pieces of copy to practice not only voice acting skills but preparation for any form of communications including public speaking, podcasting, storytelling and overcoming vocal difficulties such as stuttering and dyslexia.

Reading Dr. Seuss books aloud is encouraged and also an easily accessible resource with copies stocked in every library and bookstore in the world. You may already have a few of Dr. Seuss' 42 world-famous children's titles lining your bookshelf at home in a private collection.

All of Dr. Seuss' books embody challenging vocal tasks that take preparation, skill and stamina. As with many things in life, these publications may look cute, but trust me, these children's books pack a powerful punch!

Dr. Seuss was a smart guy who liked creating endearing characters, new words, rhyming passages and instilled didactic, cautionary techniques in his storytelling. It is these attributes and qualities of his books that have kept them on shelves and in print decades after their first go round at Random House in New York.

I mentioned that this fellow was a smart cookie, but just how smart? Although he wasn't a real doctor, there's no questioning his genius!

Dr. Seuss planned each page carefully as a vocal exercise that involves every inch of your mental power, acting ability, and vocal prowess.

Here are some of the benefits of a Dr. Seuss Workout:

- Better articulation
- Breath Control
- Phrasing and Timing
- Characterization
- Develops Sight Reading / Cold Reading Skills
- Interpretation

Another benefit I didn't mention is that if you are reading these to your kids or children in your care, they will enjoy your storytelling and you will also enjoy the pleasure of having an appreciative audience to test your voice acting techniques out on.

If you're looking for some Dr. Seuss books to help you develop particular skills mentioned above, I recommend the following:

Rhyming, Phrasing, Voice Acting: Hop On Pop, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Phrasing, Breath Control, Articulation: Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat In The Hat (50th Anniversary 2007)

Characterization, Stamina, Emotional Variance: The Lorax, How The Grinch Stole Christmas

A Dr. Seuss book that comes highly recommended by prominent Los Angeles based voice over coach Nancy Wolfson for reading advertising copy effectively is "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish".

According to Nancy, the Doctor Seuss book "One Fish Two Red Fish Blue Fish" contains hidden gems to help people perform commercial scripts with confidence, placing emphasis on the proper words in a line of ad copy so that they do not sound "announcery".

Nancy Wolfson, who has been incorporating this resource into her curriculum for years, hints that there is one key trick buried in "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" that is 100% analogous to the necessary rhythms of ad copy, especially ad copy meant for television broadcast.

Just think the books that you read or have read to your kids could be making you money in the field of public speaking, podcasting or voice over acting.

The books mentioned above are just a sampling of the 42 books that Dr. Seuss had written and illustrated over the years.

Other Dr. Seuss books that you may be interested in discovering for practicing and developing your vocal technique include:

- And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
- The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
- The King's Stilts
- Horton Hatches the Egg
- McElligot's Pool
- Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
- Bartholomew and the Oobleck
- If I Ran the Zoo
- Scrambled Eggs Super!
- Horton Hears a Who!
- On Beyond Zebra!
- If I Ran the Circus
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
- Happy Birthday to You!
- The Sneetches and the Other Stories
- Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
- I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew
- The Cat in the Hat Songbook
- I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! And Other Stories
- I Can Draw It Myself
- The Lorax
- Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
- Hunches in Bunches
- The Butter Battle Book
- Oh, The Places You'll Go

Beginner Books

- The Cat in the Hat
- The Cat in the Hat Comes Back
- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
- Green Eggs and Ham
- Hop on Pop
- Dr. Seuss's ABC
- Fox in Socks
- The Foot Book
- Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
- Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now?
- The Shape of Me and Other Stuff
- There's a Wocket in My Pocket
- Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!
- The Cat's Quizzer
- I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
- Oh Say Can You Say?
About the Author
Stephanie Ciccarelli is the VP of Marketing with Voices.com, the voice over marketplace hosting more than 10,000 professional voice talents. Stephanie is also the author of The Definitive Guide To Voice-Over Success.
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