Please read through the Bible passages in advance. Ask if you're unsure how to pronounce a word or name.
Announcement Line - The lead-in or announcement line tells the listeners from whom or from where the reading comes, i.e. the prophet Isaiah or the Book of Psalms. Proclaim the announcement line loudly and clearly. You will get the assembly's attention if you start out in a positive, determined manner. And always pause..for a few healthy seconds after the line is read. This will give the assembly a chance to place the prophet, era or Biblical location in their minds and ready them to actively listen to the passage.
Eye Contact - You may be doing everything else right - proper pace, effective pausing, speaking in a clear, engaging manner and so on, but if you do not look at your listeners, you will not connect with them. Anyone can stick his nose in a book and read, knees knocking together or not, but only those with the ability to look their assembly right in the eye will exude confidence and win credibility for the message they so urgently wish to embed.
Rate - What do you think are the two biggest complaints about lectors' performance? You probably guessed at least one of them if not both. One is rate and the other is volume, i.e. "They read too fast" and "I can't hear them."
Rate refers to how quickly or slowly one speaks. (It does not mean how much time one takes between thoughts or phrases; that's pausing.) Slowing down accomplishes several things. First of all, people do not listen as fast as you may speak. People need time to digest what you are saying to them. Unless you slow down, they may not be able to keep up and will simply tune out. At that point, you've lost them and all that practice and preparation would have been for naught. Secondly, slowing down helps achieve clearer pronunciation and enunciation. Very importantly, slowing down brings an added dimension of power to the reading. Try it and see the difference for yourself.
Please speak into the microphone...move it if necessary to ensure you're speaking into it.