Vocal Warm-Up Exercises
Vocal warm-up exercises are a good way to warm up your face and mouth muscles, which can help prevent some of the fluency issues that occur when speaking. Newscasters, singers, and other professional speakers use vocal warm-ups. I lead my students in vocal exercises before speeches, which also helps lighten the mood. We all stand in a circle and look at each other while we go through our warm-up list. For the first warm-up, we all make a motorboat sound, which makes everybody laugh. The full list of warm-ups follows and contains specific words and exercises designed to warm up different muscles and different aspects of your voice. After going through just a few, you should be able to feel the blood circulating in your face muscles more. It’s a surprisingly good workout!
Sample Vocal Warm-Ups
- Purse your lips together and make a motorboat sound. Hold it for ten seconds and repeat. “BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB.”
- Clench your teeth and say, “N, N, N, N,” to stretch your cheek muscles.
- Say “Mum” five times, and open your mouth and eyes wide each time you say it.
- Say “Puh” five times, making sure to use your diaphragm to enunciate the h.
- Say “Red Rover” ten times, overenunciating each r.
- Say “Wilbur” ten times, overenunciating the w and r.
- Say “Bumblebee” ten times, enunciating each b.
- Say “Red letter, yellow letter” five times, making sure to distinctly pronounce each word.
- Say “Selfish shellfish” five times, making sure to distinctly pronounce each word.
- Say “Unique New York” five times, enunciating the q and k.