Public Speaking Warm Up: 12 Fun Tongue Twisters!

Tongue twisters are a great way to get your speech organs (articulators) ready for public speaking.  You can use any of these tongue twisters to help you warm up before your next scientific talk.  They are also great ways to practice articulating consonants if English is not your first language!

  1. The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue,
    Photo of cat twisting his tongue from flickr creative commons.
    Photo courtesy of Trish Hamme via flickr creative commons.

    The tip of the tongue, the teeth, the lips.

  2. A box of biscuits.
    A box of mixed biscuits
    And a biscuit mixer.
  3. 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?
  4. She sells seashells by the seashore.
  5. Better Botter bought some butter,
    But she said, ‘This butter’s bitter!
    If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter.”
    So she bought some better butter,
    Better than the bitter butter,
    And she put it in her batter,
    And it made her batter better.
  6. You know you need unique New York.
  7. Red leather, yellow leather.
  8. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
    A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck
    If a woodchuck could chuck wood.
  9. I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop.
  10. Thistle sticks: sixty six thousand and six thistle sticks.

    Photo of dog twisting his tongue from flickr creative commons
    Courtesy of lo5t from flickr creative commons.
  11. She stood upon the balcony,
    inimically mimicking him hiccuping
    while amicably welcoming him in.
  12.  This one is silly but fun:
    Give me the gift of a grip top sock.
    A dip drape, ship shape, tip top sock.
    Not your spiv slick, slapstick, slip slop stock,
    But a plastic elastic grip top sock.
    None of your fantastic slack swap slop
    From a slap dash, flash cash, haberdash shop.
    Not a knick-knack, knit-lock, knock-kneed, knickerbocker sock
    With a mock shot, blob-mottled, trick tick-tocker clock.
    Not a super-sheer, seersucker, pooka sack, smock sock;
    Not a spot speckled, frog freckled, cheapskate’s sock
    Off a hotch potch, moss blotched botched Scotch block.
    Nothing slip slop, drop drop, flip flop, or clip clop —
    Tip me to a tip top grip top sock.

Homework for this week:
Practice 1-3 of these tongue twisters this week – maybe while you’re taking a shower or driving in your car, or even better, shortly before giving a talk or lecture.  If it’s a short one, repeat it 3-5 times.  How do your vocal organs feel after saying these tongue twisters? 

Report your observations in the comments below! 

Photo of Icelandic street sign with a long, hard-to-pronounce name.
Typical Icelandic Tongue-twister Street name courtesy of WorldIslandInfo.com on flickr creative commons.

 

 

Have a great week!

Cheers,

Jenifer & Adriénne


Like what you've read so far?
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6 Minutes of Guided Relaxation: Reduce Stress and Find Inner Peace and Calm Before Your Next Public Speaking Opportunity

We all have numerous stressors in our lives:

  • Money and the lack of it
  • Fear of public speaking
  • Deadlines
  • Demands on our limited time
  • Outreach and community service requirements
  • Fear of future career prospects
  • Negotiating with difficult people
  • Meetings
  • Panel discussions
  • Grant applications & project funding
  • The importance of our work!
  • Relationships with loved ones and friends
  • All the little personal to-do’s that seem insurmountable

I could easily write a thousand-item list here, but the bottom line is that we all feel stress, tension, anxiety, confusion, excitement, desire, and a million other things. This helps make us the fascinating, accomplished, complex beings that we are, but those things can also drain our focus and keep us from presenting our best selves in all the life and work situations where we are asked to share our knowledge and our ideas…  Meetings, workshops, classes, lectures, talks, conferences, even the dinner table.  If you add to that any sort of fear or anxiety about public speaking, then this topic becomes triply important.

So, how do we reduce our stress and release our tension?

We use a myriad of tactics.  The one that we will focus on today is guided relaxation.  If you’ve never tried something like this before, find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts, and keep an open mindPracticing this regularly can be a helpful part of your stress-reducing strategy.

How do you feel?  Calm, peaceful, relaxed…  a bit lighter without some of the tension you may have been carrying around with you?  I hope so.

I encourage you to look for opportunities in your week to use this exercise.  Before an important or stressful meeting?  In the morning before work?  Perhaps it could be part of your nightly routine as you unwind at the end of your day.  Pay attention to how you feel afterwards.  Does that feeling translate into other moments of your day?

The goal here is relaxation…

Reduce your stress, find inner peace and calm, and see how that helps you with your next public speaking engagement or opportunity. 

Cheers,

Jenifer and Adriénne

After experimenting with this a few times, send us an email to let us know your observations and results!  Or post your comments below!  We love a good conversation.


Like what you've read so far?
For more FREE tools & FUN tips to help you communicate better and present your research confidently, get our guide: The Top Ten Things You Can Do to Make Sure You Do Not Die During Your Science Presentation and tips sent to your inbox!

Public Speaking: Warm Up Your Voice Before Your Next Scientific Talk


Thank you to all our readers for your positive response to our Stretching Warm Up blog post!  Since the warm up stretches were so helpful, we wanted to give you more great warm up material.  So, this time Jenifer has put together an awesome video for you all, which will lead you through some vocal exercises that you can do to help warm up your voice before your next scientific presentation!

Aside from your research, your voice is probably the most important component in communicating your work and its results to your audience.  You need your voice to be ready for the challenge of public speaking, and the best way to make sure your audience can hear and understand you is to warm up your voice in preparation for your next talk.

These exercises are simple and beneficial, and can easily be performed in your hotel room, in the car on your way to the science conference, or even in a bathroom stall before your scientific talk begins.

Give these exercises a try.  They are fun to do, they will help cut down on your pre-conference nerves, and when you do them, you will be easier to hear and understand, because your voice will be warmed up and ready to speak with confidence!

Let us know which of these help you the most (or least).  What tools do you use to prepare and warm up just before presenting your work?  We love hearing from you, and we will reply to each and every one of you.  Also, if you like what you’ve seen, share this with a friend!

Cheers,

Jenifer and Adriénne


Like what you've read so far?
For more FREE tools & FUN tips to help you communicate better and present your research confidently, get our guide: The Top Ten Things You Can Do to Make Sure You Do Not Die During Your Science Presentation and tips sent to your inbox!