Congratulations on your upcoming reading! How exciting.
I think if you can do some stand-up about a weird blind date, then I think you’d certainly have no problem with reading poems. It’ll be a cinch! But just in case you need some more ideas, I’d suggest the following:
• do some vocal warm-ups beforehand. Deep breathing, tongue-twisters… anything that’ll help release excess energy, which seems to accumulate right before a reading.
• read your poems once or twice so that you’re familiar with it.
• however, I also like to have my poems be not too familiar. It’s nice if you can surprise yourself with fresh insights into your own work.
• if you haven’t used a microphone before or are not too confident, a couple of good tips is to adjust the mic so that you’re talking across it and not into it. Also, if you’re not first to the microphone, it’s a good idea to listen out for ‘popping’ on the plosives: Ps and Ts, etc. You might need to draw back a bit and increase your volume to compensate.
• volume does not come from your throat but from the diaphragm. Think of the area of your stomach and lungs as the sound-chamber and the volume will be resonant, and not merely loud.
• relax, take your time, slow down. Give people time to absorb the words. Even if you think you’re too slow, you’re not. There are more likely to be complaints about a speaker being too fast than about a speaker being too slow. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it!
Hope that’s enough. Take only what you need of my advice, of course. You’ll be great! Yay!