You've just started your public speech, everything's going smoothly until...uhh.. you stumbled on the 3rd sentence!..."um..p-p perjectred-I mean perjectetd - I mean PROJECTED sales..." UGH!
Did you warm up?
A baseball player would never start a game without throwing some balls around and having some practice at bat. A tennis player would never enter a match without hitting back and forth with his/her trainer and even a rock star would never get on stage without doing a sound check and voice warm ups!
You, as a public speaker need to warm up too! Your instrument is your voice:Your lips and your toungue (along with your teeth) form the words you speak. You must warm them up so they are agile, limber and ready to work.
There are many different warm ups out there. Here's mine:
Start with your lips:
Open your mouth as wide as you can, then purse your lips tight. (5-7x)
Chew with your lips in an exaggerated way. (as if there's something in your mouth but keep your lips closed)
Now chew but open and close your mouth as if all of the food would fall out
Exaggerate the sounds of WEE (Open mouth laterally) and Wah (open mouth horizontally) 7x.
Now your toungue
Move your toungue around inside your mouth as if you're cleaning the inside of your cheeks with the tip of your toungue.
Work your tongue hard!
With your mouth open wide, point with your tongue: Up/Down/Right/Left. Do that a few times then switch the order: Left/Right/Down/Up
Put your pinky finger about an inch away from your mouth and try to push it further away with the tip of your tongue. Do that 5-7x.
Open your jaw. With the tip of your tongue touch the back of your upper teeth where they meet the gums. Then without moving your jaw bring your tongue down to the back of your lower teeth where they meet the gums. Work your tongue up and down. 5-7x.
The letter 'T' voiced: Ti-ti-ti-tah, Ti-ti-ti-tah (5x)
The letter 'D' voiced: Di-di-di-dah, Di-di-di-dah (5x)
The Letter 'N' voiced: Ni-ni-ni-nah, Ni-ni-ni-nah (5x)
The letter 'L' voiced: Li-li-li-lah, Li-li-li-lah (5x)
The letter 'K' voiced: Ki-ki-ki-kah, Ki-ki-ki-kah (5x)
The letter 'G' voiced: Gi-gi-gi-gah, Gi-gi-gi-gah (5x)
The letter 'B' Voiced: Bi-bi-bi-bah, Bi-bi-bi-bah (5X)
The letter 'P' voiced: Pi-pi-pi-pah, Pi-pi-pi-pah (5x)
Tongue Twisters: Here are a few tongue twisters. Do these with exaggerated sounds and exaggerated movements of your lips to limber them up!
Red Leather, Yellow Leather (7x)
Big, black, rubber, baby, buggy, bumpers (7x)
2 lips, 4 lips, 5 lips, 6 lips (7x)
The gargantuan tarantula crept along (7x)
That should be a good start. Your mouth should feel limber and at the ready.
Warm ups are a huge part of any actor going on stage. An actor must communicate through their voice. So must you! You're stage is waiting for you. You're going to knock'em dead!
Don't forget to warm up!