I was used to have a “speak” command somewhere in the services menu to be accessible whenever you had a text selected. In Snow Leopard, that has disappeared but a new Automator command is provided instead.
The command will convert any text to an iTunes track containing the speech synthesis reading the text. A new “Text-to-Speech” album is added to iTunes containing the tracks.
This is a great way to convert text to audio files that you can carry around in your iPod Touch or iPhone, as well as to read out loud contracts or terms you need to review while you’re preparing yourself a coffee (this is actually how I’m using this lately).