Help for a complete beginner

Hi there,

as the title already states, I am a complete beginner when it comes to the business of recording. My questions are as follows:

  1. How do I get rid of unwanted breathing in the recording (and unpleasant “mouth sounds”, you will hear what I mean)?
  2. Is there anything I obviously need to change? Might I be too close to the microphone? Do I need to speak more clearly? Are the plosives still too “harsh” (I already use a pop filter). Are the “s”-sounds too “loud for comfort”?
    Basically, I am looking for any general tips on how to make the recording sound nicer.

Things to note: The fact that I misspeak a couple of times is not lost on me, that requires no mention. This recording has gone through zero editing. The “basic” youtube tutorials I found were not really helpful to me. I don’t think bass and/or treble boost do any kind of good for me, the only interesting thing was the “Normalize” option, but it often also made the background noise too loud. If, however, you say that it is obvious that it is lacking these steps, and that it would, without a doubt, sound better if included, I will keep that in mind.
Also, as you have probably noticed, English is not my first language, so while I would profit from corrections of my pronunciation, it should not be the focus of your “critique”.
I am using an Audio Technica 2035 mic with a Steinberug UR22 audio interface. What I want to do is upload readings of poetry. I don’t think you need any more information, the version of Audacity is probably irrelevant. Should this prove to be wrong, I will of course follow the “accepted formula”. Also, my interest in this is solely founded on acquaintances’ insistence that my voice sounds good. Before I keep going with this hobby, I would like to know whether professionals think so as well. I’ve always liked doing recitations and/or impressions, but if it isn’t any good, I could also stop before I get too much into it.

Thanks in advance,

The main problem is that the recording is far too quiet.

As you are whispering you will need to get very close to the microphone. That will tend to boost the bass frequencies so ensure that the 80 Hz high-pass filter is ON. The 10 dB pad switch should be OFF. Then turn up the input gain on the Steinberg UR22.