Do you warm up your voice? If you don't, you should. Good speech takes muscle. And just as your leg muscles work better if you warm them up before a run, so will your speech muscles work better if you warm them up at the start of your day. Your voice will sound better, stronger. Your articulation will become more clear and crisp. You'll be easier to understand. And as you strengthen your speech muscles, you'll be able to talk longer without vocal fatigue.
While warming up the voice is important for those who speak a lot, it's also important for those who don't. Some people have solitary jobs where they hardly speak at all, such as computer programmers, artists or writers. If the vocal chords are under used, they may actually begin to weaken and atrophy.
So that your voice stays as healthy as possible, I include a short version of my favorite vocal warm up below. Here's how it works. The sentences in the warm up have been designed to work many of the vowel and consonant sounds in the English language. Saying them properly can actually strengthen your articulator muscles. Before you begin, drink a glass of warm water. Then, read each sentence aloud slowly, pronouncing each word as carefully and properly as you can. These are not tongue-twisters. DO NOT RACE. While doing the warm up, if your throat becomes sore or your voice feels strained, stop immediately. Work up gradually until you can comfortably do the entire exercise. And of course, if you have persistent hoarseness, weakness or any kind of throat or voice problem, please see your doctor.
Eat each green pea. Aim straight at the game. Ed said get ready.
It is in Italy. I tried my kite. Oaks grow slowly.
Father was calm as he threw the bomb on the dock.
An awed audience applauded Claude.
Go slow Joe, you're stepping on my toe.
Sauce makes the goose more succulent.
Up the bluff, Bud runs with the cup of love.
Red led men to the heifer that fell in the dell.
Maimed animals may become mean.
It's time to buy a nice limeade for a dime.
Oil soils doilies.
Flip a coin, Roy, you have a choice of oysters or poi.
Sheep shears should be sharp.
At her leisure, she used rouge to camouflage her features.
There's your cue, the curfew is due.
It was the student's duty to deliver the Tuesday newspaper.
He feels keen as he schemes and dreams.
Much of the flood comes under the hutch.
Boots and shoes lose newness soon.
Ruth was rude to the youthful recruit.
Vivid, livid, vivifying. Vivid experiences were lived vicariously.
Oddly, the ominous octopus remained calm.
The pod will rot if left on the rock.
Look, you could put your foot on the hood and push.
Nat nailed the new sign on the door of the diner.
Dale's dad died in the stampede for gold.
Thoughtful thinkers think things through.
Engineer Ethelbert wrecked the express at the end of Elm Street.
From "The Voice Coach" ezine by Susan Berkley
reprinted with permission.
For a free subscription visit http://www.greatvoice.com
Susan Berkley is a professional speaker and international communications expert. She is a top voiceover artist and author of "Speak to Influence: How to unlock the hidden power of your voice, " available at bookstores or from 201-541-8595.
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