Netherton C of E Primary School

Tips on how to perform a poem


Physical Presence, Body Image and Poise.


Present yourself well and be attentive. Use good posture. Be confident and make a direct connection with the audience. Relax and be natural.  


Voice and Articulation, Pace, Rhythm, Intonation, and Proper Pronunciation.


Project to the audience. Capture the attention of everyone. However, don’t mistake shouting for good projection. Proceed at a fitting and natural pace. With rhymed poems, be careful not to recite in a sing-song manner. Make sure you know how to pronounce every word in your poem. Articulate. Line breaks are a defining feature of poetry. Decide whether a break requires a pause and, if so, how long to pause. 


Dramatic Appropriateness.

Recitation is about conveying a poem’s sense with its language. A strong performance will rely on a powerful internalisation of the poem rather than excessive gestures.  Appropriate interpretation enhances the audience’s understanding and enjoyment of the poem without overshadowing the poem’s language. 



Do not act out each word of the poem. Movement must not detract from the poem’s voice. Avoid monotone delivery. However, too much enthusiasm can make your performance seem insincere. 


Evidence of Understanding.

The poet’s words should take precedence, and you should be able to voice them in a way that helps the audience to understand the poem better. To do this, you must effectively use intonation, emphasis, tone, and style of delivery. 



You must understand the poem fully. Be attentive to the messages, meanings, allusions, irony, tones of voice, and other nuances in your poem. Be sure you know the meaning of every word and line in your poem.  Think about how you should interpret the tone and voice of your poem. Is it a quiet poem? Is it a boisterous poem? Should it be recited more quickly or slowly, with a happy or mournful tone?  


Overall Performance.

Captivate the audience with the language of the poem. Bring the audience to a better understanding of the poem. Ensure that your physical presence, voice and articulation, and dramatic appropriateness all seem on target and unified to breathe life into the poem. 

Highbridge Road, Netherton, Dudley DY2 0HU

01384 816895