Poets, you're going to do it wrong. No matter how much inflection you use, where you pause, or when you breathe you will end up sounding the same. The same as who? Why, 99.89% of all poets who give readings, of course! And no, it isn't a good thing.
I'm not sure when most poets started sounding the same. Maybe it comes out of college training. Or listening to too many presidential speeches. It could also come from assimilating other poets' techniques.
Whatever the cause, the result is the same. The tone is serious, with bland or dead intonation. There is little to no body movement, eye contact exists on a timer. Give a hundred poets the same poem and it'll sound exact regardless of the age, gender, or experience of the poets reciting. Give a hundred poets different poems and... it will also be creepily similar, regardless of subject matter or differences in poets.
I've never given a reading but I'm guilty of Poet Reading Voice. I can recite a piece with emotion and interest, until I turn on a voice recorder. After that, all difference just drains away. I become a drone, prattling. I'd love to say it's nerves (yes, I get nervous even recording myself) but I'm uncertain. Maybe it is just an affliction most poets can't hope to cure.
(Poets who write for children have a much lower chance of catching persistent Poet Reading Voice. Probably because children won't tolerate boring people/narcissists.)
Have you ever been to a memorable reading? What made it memorable? How do/will your readings differ from what I described?