Home » 5 Voice Exercises for Speakers on Stage & Camera (+ BONUS Tips)
Mar,2024

5 Voice Exercises for Speakers on Stage & Camera (+ BONUS Tips)

Imagine your voice as a powerful instrument, capable of commanding the attention of a large audience. When it comes to speaking on stage, on camera, or in any other setting that requires you to be in front of an audience, these voice exercises for speakers are essential. Just like any instrument, your voice requires regular practice and exercises to reach its full potential.

Whether you’re a seasoned public speaker or just starting on your journey, these voice exercises for speakers are designed to help you unlock your voice’s power and versatility.

If you’re ready to take your speaking skills to the next level and leave a lasting impact on your audience, keep reading to discover these expert strategies to strengthen and exercise your voice.

Voice Exercise for Speakers #1 – Diaphragmatic Breathing

Simple but effective, breathing exercises are the first step in building a solid foundation for your voice exercise plan. To improve your vocal projection and control, incorporate regular breathing exercises into your public speaking practice.

Breathing is a fundamental aspect of effective speaking. By practicing specific breathing exercises, you can strengthen your diaphragm, increase lung capacity, and enhance your ability to project your voice. And even better? It also helps with reducing stress!

One effective exercise is diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing. To do this exercise, sit or stand up straight and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take a deep breath in through your nose, ensuring that your abdomen rises as you inhale. Then, slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this voice exercise for speakers several times, focusing on maintaining a relaxed and controlled breath.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to engage in diaphragmatic breathing: 

  1. Find a Comfortable Position: Start by finding a comfortable seated or lying position. You can sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, or lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Make sure your body is relaxed and free from tension.
  2. Place Your Hands on Your Stomach: Gently place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, just below your rib cage. This will help you feel your diaphragm’s movement as you breathe.
  3. Inhale Slowly Through Your Nose: Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand fully. As you inhale, focus on filling your lungs with air and feeling your abdomen rise against your hand. Keep your chest relatively still while your abdomen expands.
  4. Exhale Slowly Through Your Mouth: Slowly exhale through your mouth, allowing your abdomen to deflate as you release the air. As you exhale, focus on gently contracting your abdominal muscles to expel the air from your lungs. Feel your abdomen lower back down towards your spine.
  5. Focus on Deep, Even Breaths: Continue to breathe deeply and evenly, focusing on the sensation of your breath filling your lungs and the movement of your abdomen. Try to maintain a steady rhythm, inhaling and exhaling at a comfortable pace.
  6. Practice Relaxation: As you continue to engage in diaphragmatic breathing, allow yourself to relax further with each breath. Release any tension or tightness in your body, release any fear of public speaking, and focus on the sensation of relaxation spreading throughout your body with each exhale.
  7. Repeat Several Times: Repeat the diaphragmatic breathing exercise for several minutes, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable with the technique. Aim to practice diaphragmatic breathing regularly.

By following this step-by-step guide to diaphragmatic breathing, you can learn to engage your diaphragm effectively, promote relaxation, and improve your overall well-being – on stage and beyond!

Voice Exercise for Speakers #2 – Articulation Drills

Practice articulation drills to improve your clarity and precision as a public speaker. These voice exercises for speakers specifically target how you pronounce and articulate each word, helping you communicate more effectively.

Focus on enunciating each syllable clearly, making sure your consonants are crisp and your vowels are pronounced correctly. Start by practicing tongue twisters, such as ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,’ to challenge your articulation skills. Gradually increase the difficulty level by incorporating words with similar sounds or challenging letter combinations.

As you go through these drills, pay attention to any areas where you tend to stumble or mumble, and make a conscious effort to improve your pronunciation in those specific areas.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing articulation drills: 

  1. Choose a Set of Articulation Exercises: Select a set of articulation exercises or tongue twisters to practice. These can include phrases that contain repetitive sounds or challenging consonant-vowel combinations.
  2. Start Slowly: Begin by practicing the articulation exercises slowly and deliberately. Focus on pronouncing each syllable clearly and accurately, paying attention to the placement of your tongue, lips, and teeth.
  3. Increase Speed Gradually: Once you feel comfortable with the articulation exercises at a slower pace, gradually increase your speed. Challenge yourself to say the phrases more quickly while maintaining clarity and precision.
  4. Repeat Each Exercise Multiple Times: Practice each articulation exercise multiple times to reinforce your articulatory skills and improve muscle memory. Repeat the exercises until you feel confident in pronouncing them accurately and fluently.
  5. Focus on Precision: Pay attention to the precision of your articulation as you practice. Aim for crisp and distinct consonant sounds and clear vowel pronunciation. Avoid slurring or mumbling your words.
  6. Use Vocal Warm-Up Exercises: Before starting your articulation drills, warm up your vocal cords with vocal warm-up exercises such as lip trills or humming. This helps to loosen your vocal muscles and prepare them for articulation practice.
  7. Practice Regularly: Set aside time each day to work on articulation exercises to improve your clarity and precision over time.
  8. Monitor Your Progress: Pay attention to your progress as you practice articulation drills. Notice any improvements and celebrate any improved progress along the way.

By following these steps, you can effectively incorporate articulation drills into your voice exercises for speaking routine to improve your clarity, precision, and overall vocal performance.

Voice Exercise for Speakers #3 – Projection Techniques

Developing effective projection techniques is crucial for public speakers to ensure their voice is carried across an audience.

To project your voice, start by standing tall and maintaining good posture. Take deep breaths from your diaphragm to support your voice and create a strong foundation. Engage your abdominal muscles and speak from your chest, allowing your voice to resonate. Use a clear and confident tone, and vary your pitch and volume to keep your audience engaged.

Imagine speaking to the person at the back of the room, and direct your voice towards them. Practice projecting your voice in different environments to build your confidence and control. These voice exercises for speakers are also helpful as a visualizing activity, to help you reduce your nerves, get over stage fright, and get comfortable with the thought of speaking in front of a large audience.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to projection voice exercises for speakers:

  1. Find Your Power Stance: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed. 
  2. Engage Your Diaphragm: Take a deep breath and engage your diaphragm by allowing your abdomen to expand as you inhale. 
  3. Speak from Your Diaphragm: Focus on speaking from your diaphragm rather than your throat or chest. 
  4. Articulate Clearly: Enunciate your words clearly and crisply, emphasizing consonants and vowels to ensure speech clarity. 
  5. Use Vocal Variety: Incorporate vocal variety into your speech by varying your pitch, tone, volume, and pace. Experiment with speaking louder or softer, faster or slower, and using different intonation patterns.
  6. Project Your Voice: Imagine projecting your voice to the back of the room or beyond, reaching every corner with your sound. 
  7. Use Your Resonators: Utilize your resonators, including your chest, throat, mouth, and nasal passages, to amplify and shape your voice. Experiment with different resonance placements to find the most effective projection technique for your voice.
  8. Practice Breath Control: Practice breath control exercises to improve your ability to sustain long phrases and maintain consistent projection throughout your speech. 
  9. Warm Up Your Voice: Warm up your voice before speaking with vocal warm-up exercises such as lip trills, humming, sirens, and vocal scales. 
  10. Listen to Feedback: Pay attention to feedback from others regarding your projection technique and adjust accordingly. 

By following these steps and practicing regularly, you can develop effective projection techniques that allow you to speak with confidence, clarity, and presence in any public speaking situation.

Voice Exercise for Speakers #4 – Pitch and Tone Exercises

Now let’s focus on improving your pitch and tone as a public speaker.

One effective exercise to enhance your pitch is the ‘slide’ technique. Begin by selecting a simple phrase and saying it with a low pitch, gradually sliding your voice upwards to a high pitch. Repeat this exercise several times, ensuring smooth transitions.

Another exercise to improve your tone is ‘resonance humming.’ Start by humming a low note, then gradually increase the pitch while maintaining a consistent tone. This exercise helps with vocal clarity and projection.

Additionally, practicing scales is an important voice exercise for speakers that can help you develop control over your pitch and tone. Remember to focus on maintaining a clear and pleasant sound while speaking.

Here’s how to practice scales: 

  1. Begin with Simple Scales: Start with simple vocal scales that cover a comfortable range for your voice. Begin on a comfortable pitch and gradually ascend and descend through the scale, focusing on maintaining a smooth and even tone throughout.
  2. Focus on Pitch Accuracy: Pay attention to pitch accuracy as you practice scales. Aim to hit each note cleanly and precisely, without wavering or straining. 
  3. Expand Your Range Gradually: As you become more comfortable with the scales, gradually expand your vocal range by starting on lower or higher pitches.
  4. Experiment with Dynamics: Experiment with dynamics by varying the volume and intensity of your voice as you practice scales. Start softly and gradually increase your volume, then decrease it as you descend.

With regular practice, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your vocal projection and overall speaking confidence.

Voice Exercise for Speakers #5 – Volume Control Exercises

Now let’s focus on developing your volume control skills for public speaking.

Volume control is crucial for engaging your audience’s attention. You can try the ‘Whisper and Shout’ exercise. Begin by whispering a sentence, gradually increasing the volume until you’re shouting. This exercise helps you become aware of the range of your voice and teaches you to modulate your volume effectively.

You can also practice speaking in different-sized rooms to adjust your volume accordingly. With consistent practice, you’ll gain confidence in controlling your volume and delivering impactful speeches.

Here are some general guidelines for volume control exercises: 

  • Volume Variations: Practice speaking at different volume levels, ranging from soft to loud. Start by speaking softly and gradually increase your volume until you reach a moderate level. Then, gradually decrease your volume back to a soft level. Repeat this exercise several times, focusing on maintaining clarity and control at each volume level.
  • Dynamic Reading: Choose a passage of text and practice reading it aloud with varying volume levels to convey different emotions and intentions. Experiment with whispering, speaking softly, speaking at a moderate volume, and speaking loudly.
  • Vocal Projection: Practice projecting your voice to ensure that you can be heard clearly by all audience members, even in large venues. Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, and imagine speaking to the back of the room. Practice speaking loudly and clearly, focusing on projecting your voice from your diaphragm rather than straining your vocal cords.
  • Pitch and Tone Variation: Experiment with varying your pitch and tone to add interest and emphasis to your speech. Practice speaking in different pitches, from high to low, and vary your tone to convey different emotions or intentions. 
  • Recording and Feedback: Record yourself practicing volume control exercises and listen back to evaluate your performance. Pay attention to areas where you may need to adjust your volume or projection.

BONUS! Tip #1 – Create a Vocal Warm-Up Routine

As you continue honing your public speaking skills, it’s essential to incorporate vocal warm-up routines into your practice as a public speaker. The best public speakers use routines to prepare their vocal cords and help improve their overall vocal quality and projection. You’ll want to do the same.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create your own vocal warm-up routine:

  1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a quiet and private space where you can vocalize without distractions or interruptions.
  2. Start with Deep Breathing: Stand up straight or sit comfortably in a chair. Begin by taking several deep breaths in through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand fully. Then, exhale slowly and completely through your mouth, focusing on releasing tension and relaxing your body.
  3. Lip Trills: Place your lips together and gently blow air through them to create a buzzing sound. Start with a low pitch and gradually move up to a higher pitch. Repeat the lip trills several times, focusing on maintaining a steady and controlled airflow.
  4. Humming: Close your lips and hum softly, feeling the vibrations in your lips and face. Start with a comfortable pitch and gradually move up and down the scale. Focus on keeping your jaw relaxed and your tongue resting gently against the roof of your mouth.
  5. Sirens: Glide smoothly from your lowest comfortable pitch to your highest comfortable pitch and back down again, creating a siren-like sound. Focus on keeping the transition between pitches smooth and seamless.
  6. Vocal Exercises: Perform vocal exercises that target different areas of your voice, such as vocal range, flexibility, and resonance. Examples include sirens, scales, arpeggios, and tongue twisters. Repeat each exercise several times, gradually increasing in difficulty and complexity.
  7. Articulation Drills: Practice articulating consonant-vowel combinations or tongue twisters to improve clarity and precision in your speech. Focus on enunciating each syllable clearly and crisply.
  8. Cool Down: Finish your vocal warm-up routine with a gentle cool-down to relax your vocal cords and prevent strain. Take a few deep breaths and perform some light humming or gentle sirens to ease tension in your voice.

By following this quick step-by-step guide to vocal warm-up routines, you can effectively prepare your voice for giving a TED talk. These tips will even help if you’re singing, trying to improve vocal clarity and projection, or trying to prevent vocal strain or fatigue. Incorporate these exercises into your daily routine to maintain vocal health and performance.

BONUS! Tip #2 – Build Vocal Stamina

To continue building your speaking skills, it’s important to strengthen your vocal stamina through targeted exercises.

One effective exercise is called the ‘Humming Warm-Up.’ Start by taking a deep breath and then hum a steady note for as long as you can. This exercise helps to develop your breath control and vocal endurance.

Another voice exercise for speakers is the ‘Siren Slide.’ Begin by making a siren sound, starting from your lowest pitch and gradually sliding up to your highest pitch, and then back down again. This exercise helps to improve your vocal range and flexibility.

Conclusion

If you want to improve your public speaking skills and captivate your audience, these voice exercises for speakers are a great place to start.

By practicing breathing exercises, articulation drills, vocal warm-up routines, and projection techniques, you can strengthen your voice and enhance your delivery.

With dedication and consistent practice, you’ll be on your way to becoming a confident and engaging public speaker.

Free Public Speaker Training, hosted by TEDx speaker Taylor Conroy, click here to save your free spot

Author

Angelica
Angelica is a multi-passionate creative who loves dabbling in a little bit of this and that. She's always chasing her curiosities, whether that means jetting off to explore somewhere new or diving into a new technology she's eager to learn.

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