Voice Performance: Exercises
Like specialists in any business, professional voice performers, narrators, and other actors need to work at their craft continuously. It is surprising how much easier it is to perform in front of a microphone, or a live audience, when one has kept up with one's vocal exercises. The same is true for beginners who go to auditions for narration or voiceover work. If you prepare by doing a few voice exercises regularly, you'll be better prepared when it comes time to perform.
A good way to improve one's delivery of normal phrases is to practice on difficult ones. Such practice can be especially valuable when real-life tongue-twisters occur in the middle of "normal" scripts, while the clock is running and the producer waits impatiently for the announcer to complete Take 43. That's why you'll find a section of "unintentional" tongue-twisters below. This collection should help professional narrators and voiceover artists, as well as beginners, students, and anybody interested in public speaking of any kind.
PART ONE: Examples from actual scripts or publications. The writers will not be named unless they request it, and companies and products will not be identified. This rules out a lot of goodies (I had to eliminate several from my own collection)! NOTE: the test is not whether a phrase has long, complex words -- a mental challenge -- but simply whether its phonetic structure makes it really hard to say.
PART TWO: Diction exercises that are intended to be hard to pronounce. These "tongue-twisters" are, for the non-professional, just fun (or frustrating!) to read. However, I've tried to categorize them by the specific vocal elements that each exercise targets, for use by professional performers.
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I've set these aside a special class of tongue twister -- the kind that becomes more challenging the more you say it. So if you don't find each one "hard to say" at first, just keep repeating it until you do!
Narrators, actors, or amateurs -- heard a good one lately? This page has plenty of space for your input! Check the guidelines above, then press the "Comments?" button to make any suggestions. Any contributions used here will be duly noted on the Credits Page! (Meanwhile, please respect the creative input of all contributors -- and the webmaster -- and do not reproduce this page without permission. Thanks! (c) 1996-2009 Rich Wilson. All rights reserved.