By Candice Rankin, Executive Speech Coach
As an Executive Speech Coach specializing in teleprompter and presidential teleprompting, I know that the human voice is like a muscle. To work really well, it should be warmed up. There’s nothing magical about the warmup, you basically want to get each part of the anatomy involved in vocal production to get moving before speaking. Good actors know this and are good at warming up their voices. But a good speech coach can guide non-actors through a quick warmup. Here’s how it’s done.
1) Quickly explain to the presenter the importance of warmup — that it will make their job easier since they’re less likely to trip up on words when they’re warmed up. Also they’ll sound a lot better!
2) Guide them through these steps (you can do it with them). Each one can be done three times (eg. for the first one, make the mmm sound up and down, up and down, up and down — 3 times)
– Make an MMM sound, up and down register. Do the same for VVV, NNN, ZZZ, LLL, EEE, RRR.
– Have them say the alphabet as many times as possible till they run out of breath. This gets them breathing in and out and breaks that ‘tight chest’ thing that so many non-actors get when speaking. If they completely exhale even once, they’ll completely inhale and then they’ll breathe better throughout the taping.
– Speak in a falsetto. This warms up the whole voice and you’ll hear great resonance if you can get them to do that. Speaking the alphabet is fine or reading from any text is okay. If they’re self-conscious you can do this with them.