I am still sick and incapable of comprehensible speech. (Seriously. I called my parents today and my own mother did not recognize my voice.)
So I figured that today would be a good time to answer a great question I got in email: how do you become comfortable with reading in public?
The best way to become comfortable with reading in public, as far as I’m concerned, is not by reading your own work. I used to (and for years, I’ve been wanting to start up again but have not yet managed to) get groups of friends together for something that we pretentiously callled Salon. Salon was (and could be again, my friends IRL) just a gathering including food and drink, where everyone brought something to read out loud. The only requirement of Salon was that you could read anyone’s work out loud except your own. And anyway, the experience of reading other people’s work out loud to a friendly group is a good way to start getting used to reading out loud, period. Once you’ve done that for a while, and gotten so that feels okay for you, then you can start trying to read your own stuff.
Or at least, that’s what worked for me.
Everyone else: what suggestions do you have for getting comfortable with reading your own work in public?