Have you ever woken up and noticed that your voice sounds like a creaking frog? This can be frustrating, and a little annoying, especially if your job requires you to talk to people or present in front of large groups. You want to make sure your voice is an asset and not a hindrance. If you know you are going to be presenting that day you, a good vocal warm-up is an absolute necessity. You want a speaking voice that conveys confidence and conviction, so it is important to perform vocal exercises that will strengthen your vocal muscles. When you are pressed for time or if you just have a little extra time while you are sitting in traffic, these vocal exercises can be done in the car and will help to get your voice in tip-top shape.
NOTE: All of these exercises should be done while your hands are on the wheel and your eyes are on the road.
- Open your mouth as wide as you can and stretch your mouth and face.
- Smile as you open your mouth wide. This will fully open your throat, enabling your breathing to get deep down in your lungs. Take a few normal breaths, making sure not to over exert.
- While your throat is open, start saying “Ah” gently and softly. Gradually get louder and use more air. Complete this in intervals, getting louder with each one. As you progress, your voice should start to feel looser and more flexible.
- Hum with your mouth closed. Begin by humming a single note only and then utilize your entire range. Continue humming until the sound and air is coming through without any sputters. It’s as if you are oiling your voice until the motor begins running smoothly. You can even hum along to a song on the radio.
- Choose a few familiar tongue twisters and say them slowly, enunciating each letter and sound. Continue this pattern, gradually speaking faster. A few examples: “Red leather, yellow leather” “red blood, blue blood” “three free throws” “strange strategic statistics”
- Breathe deeply and exhale a hissing sound. Repeat this 10 times. Proper breathing is the foundation of a healthy voice.
- Say Mmm-hmm (like yes) up and down your vocal range 5 times. This will create clean resonance and allow you to project your voice easily.
Just as with the rest of your body, it takes time to strengthen your vocal muscles. Completing these daily exercises in the car can help boost your vocal energy and endurance.