Voice Acting/Enunciation Exercises

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This collection of enunciation exercises is intended to improve diction, articulation, pronunciation, and speech clarity. Choose exercises that address enunciations you have the most difficulty with. Use these as on-going training exercises, and as a warm-up before recording sessions.

Begin by going through your chosen exercise slowly to ensure you produce each sound clearly.[1]

  1. Open your mouth wider as you talk. Closed lips and teeth will reduce your speech volume.
  2. Articulate. Make sure you stop the air for consonants like 't' and 'b'. Differentiate between your vowels. Begin by exaggerating each consonant so it is crisp and clear. Make sure the start and end of each word is crisp.
  3. Speak up. Practice speaking a little bit louder. You will automatically use more breath, and you will probably slow down and articulate better in the process.
  4. Speak with inflection. Questions should go up in pitch at the end. Statements should go down. Notice, also, what syllables and words get emphasis. Try exaggerating your inflection, the way you would if you were reading to a small child and hamming it up a little bit.
  5. Support from your diaphragm. Use the muscles in your stomach to support your breath as you speak. Even if you speak no more loudly, you will speak more clearly this way. Place a hand over your stomach, just below your ribs. You should feel the muscles there move as you speak.
  6. Increase speed while maintaining clear pronunciation of each sound as you practice each exercise.

Use these enunciation exercises in conjunction with tongue twisters.

This video on How to Enunciate may provide some helpful fun.

Articulation 1:[2][edit | edit source]

Repeat clearly:

  • ba, ba, ba, wa, wa, wa, ba, ba, ba, wa, wa, wa, pu, pu, pu, fu, fu, fu, pu, pu, pu, fu, fu, fu
  • Gutta butta, gutta butta, butta gutta, butta gutta, …
  • Red leather, yellow leather, Red leather, yellow leather, …

Articulation 2:[3][edit | edit source]

Repeat clearly, and increase the speed at each repetition:

Bah dah gah pah dah gah
Boh doh goh poh doh goh
Boo doo goo poo doo goo
Bee dee gee pee dee gee
Bay day gay pay day gay

Articulation 3:[4][edit | edit source]

Repeat clearly, and increase the speed at each repetition:

Mah nah lah Thah vah zah
Moh noh loh Thoh voh zoh
Moo noo loo Thoo voo zoo
Mee nee lee Thee vee zee
May nay lay Thay vay zay

Articulation 4:[5][edit | edit source]

Sah Kah She Fah Rah
Pah Kah She Fah Rah
Wah Kah She Fah Rah
Bah Kah She Fah Rah
Dah Kah She Fah Rah

Articulation 5:[6][edit | edit source]

The tip of the tongue, the teeth and the lips

Lah lee loo lee. Zip e do da

Repetition, repetition, repetition

We'll weather the weather whatever the weather whether we like it or not

Articulation 6:[edit | edit source]

This video demonstrates a useful enunciation warm up for voice over.

Individual Letters:[7][edit | edit source]

A:[edit | edit source]

Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

B: [8][edit | edit source]

Betty bought a bit of butter, but she found the butter bitter, so Betty bought a bit of better butter to make the bitter butter better.

Big black bug bit a big black bear and the big black bear bled black blood.

C:[edit | edit source]

Can I cook a proper cup of coffee in a copper coffee pot?

How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?

D:[edit | edit source]

Did Doug dig David's garden or did David dig Doug's garden?

Do drop in at the Dewdrop Inn. Do drop in at the Dewdrop Inn.

Don't doubt the doorbell, but differ with the doorknob.

E:[edit | edit source]

Eight gray geese in a green field grazing.

F:[edit | edit source]

Four furious friends fought for the phone

Fine white vinegar with veal.

Five flippant Frenchmen fly from France for fashions. Five flippant Frenchmen fly from France for fashions

The free thugs set three thugs free.

G:[edit | edit source]

Grab the groundhog from the glazed grass.

Grey geese in a green field grazing.

H:[edit | edit source]

How was Harry hastened so hurriedly from the hunt?

In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen

I:[edit | edit source]

Inexplicably mimicking him hiccupping.

I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch

J:[edit | edit source]

Jean just jostled James gently. Jean just jostled James gently.

Jingle jungle jangle joker. Jingle jungle jangle joker.

Jack the jailbird jacked a jeep.

K:[edit | edit source]

Kiss her quick, Kiss her quicker, Kiss her quickest

Knit kilts for nasty cold nights.

My cutlery cuts keenly and cleanly.

L:[edit | edit source]

Larry sent the latter a letter later. Larry sent the latter a letter later.

Little lucky Luke likes lakes, lucky little Luke likes licking lakes.

Lucy lingered, looking longingly for her lost lap-dog.

High roller, low roller, lower roller.

M:[edit | edit source]

Monkeys make monopoly monotonous.

N:[edit | edit source]

The next nest will not necessarily be next to nothing.

You know New York,
You need New York,
You know you need unique New York.

O:[edit | edit source]

Octopi occupy a porcupine's mind.

Only royal oily royal oil boils

P:[edit | edit source]

Peter Prangle, the prickly pear picker, picked three perfectly prickly pears.

A proper copper coffee pot.

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked.
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Pearls, please, pretty Penelope,
Pretty Penelope, pretty Penelope,
Pearls, please, pretty Penelope,
Pretty Penelope Pring.

Q:[edit | edit source]

Quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly, quickly...

Quick kiss. Quicker kiss. Quickest kiss.

Queen Catherine wakes the cat, and the cat quietly cries.

R:[edit | edit source]

Reading and writing are richly rewarding. Reading and writing are richly rewarding.

Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers!

Roberta ran rings around the Roman ruins.

Round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

S:[edit | edit source]

Some shun sunshine. Do you shun sunshine?

Six thick thistle sticks

Six stick shifts stuck shut.

She sells seashells by the seashore.

The shrewd shrew sold Sarah seven sliver fish slices.

Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
But Moses supposes erroneously,
For nobody's toeses are posies of roses
As Moses supposes his toeses to be.

Sally sold seven six dollar seashells by the salty seashore

T:[edit | edit source]

Three thick thistle sticks.

The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.

Two toads, totally tired, trying to trot to Tewkesbury.

U:[edit | edit source]

Unique New York, Unique New York, Unique New York.

V:[edit | edit source]

Vincent vowed vengeance vehemently. Vincent vowed vengeance vehemently.

Venti, Grande, Tall - Very Grand Words for Large, Medium, Small.

Veni, vidi, vici.

W:[edit | edit source]

Will's wetsuit is round and wet and rough and wide and ready to go on a watery ride.

Wayne went to Wales to watch walruses.

X:[edit | edit source]

Xylophones exist or so existentialists insist.

Y:[edit | edit source]

Yoda met a Yeti on the Plains of Serengeti.

Z:[edit | edit source]

Zoologists illogically love to read astrology.

Consonant Combinations:[9][edit | edit source]

S/P/C/B/D:[10][edit | edit source]

To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock in a pestilential prison with a life long lock.

Awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block.

T/D:[edit | edit source]

In tooting two tutors astute tried to toot a duke on a flute.

But duets so grueling end only in dueling when tutors astute toot the flute.

M/H/I:[edit | edit source]

She stood on the balcony inexplicably mimicking him hiccupping and amicably welcoming him home.

Th:[edit | edit source]

This thin that thatch these themes those thorns the thug they thank.

Theophilus Thistler, the thistle sifter, in sifting a sieve of unsifted thistles, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.

Intonation:[edit | edit source]

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice creamggg

From the Pirates of Penzance[edit | edit source]

Adapted from The Major General’s song:

I am the very model of a modern Major-General;
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral;
I know the Kings of England, and I quote the fights historical,
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted too with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem, I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus,
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous,
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

Vowel Deviations[edit | edit source]

Vowel deviations occur when one vowel sound is used in place of another. Many common mispronunciations are due to vowel deviations.

Practice these vowel deviation exercises to help avoid vowel deviations.

Diphthongs[edit | edit source]

A diphthong is a sound positioned between two vowel sounds, where one vowel sound glides into another.

Practice these diphthong exercises.

Recommended Reading[edit | edit source]

Students wanting to learn more about enunciation exercises may be interested in reading the following books:

  • (Evaluate the book Broadcast Voice Exercises, by Jon Beaupre )

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Mumbling-and-Speak-Clearly
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBDS6Li2WQM
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qjr9nWh5cU
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Qjr9nWh5cU
  5. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/speech/enunciation.htm
  6. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/speech/enunciation.htm
  7. https://www.thoughtco.com/enunciation-exercises-for-drama-teachers-2712994
  8. https://www.write-out-loud.com/dictionexercises.html
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8uKrqRXaxk
  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp2VvmUJJc8