arTICulate! Exercise Your Tongue
& Jaw Before Voice-Over Sessions
By Connie Terwilliger
Voice Actor and Instructor
When reading voice-over scripts, these “ailments” are bound to strike from time to time:
What to do? Exercise your way back to clear articulation. Better yet, do these vocal warm-ups before turning on the mic. The more you loosen up before a session, the easier it will be.
Say each of the following words five times, trying to keep the tongue forward, just behind the upper front teeth. Listen for brightness and liveliness of tone:
STIIFF UPPER LIP?
A stiff upper lip is one cause of miss-articulation.
Say the words "pit-pat-pit-pat-pit-pat" many times. Try to pronounce the “P’s” and “T’s” very clearly.
Now pick up the speed. Don't loose the 'P' and the 'T'!
JAW OPENERS ...
Say the following words while exaggerating your jaw opening:
Repeat each of the following word groupings clearly, over and over. Start slowly at first. As your articulators become more nimble and relaxed you will be able to pick up speed without stumbling.
Do any sort of tongue twister that comes to mind. Many of the following are familiar. Some came from the Speech 101, Voice and Diction Class at San Diego City College, in San Diego. Some are from Beverly Bremers Voiceover Workouts. Others are from actual scripts.
Some seem simple. Some will be the bane of your existence.
Just remember to warm up your articulators before jumping in on them!
Connie Terwilliger is a veteran voice-over talent, coach, spokesperson and actor based in San Diego. She is also a producer/writer, and teaches a college-level course on voice-overs in San Diego.
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