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Think of your performance as a conversation with the audience.

The U.S. Poet Laureate at the time of this writing puts it slightly differently. His suggestion is to have a specific audience in mind as you are writing. Maybe it’s your Aunt Mildred or Betty, the not-too-bright clerk in accounting. If she gets the poem, anyone will. A recitation or performance of poetry works the same way. Focus on people in the audience as you recite or read your poems. Read the poems to them. Watch their reactions. In some environments, this can be difficult because of the lighting, but do your best. Think of your performance as a conversation. While you will do the bulk of the verbal talking, the audience will be giving feedback through laughter, posture, and other cues, just as would happen in a one-on-one conversation.

See Also: Write to enhance interactivity.

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