Warm up activities for public speaking are only performed by a few people. You might not have expected that public speaking would necessitate warm ups, but it does to be the most effective. Most people believe that warming up is only for sports, working out, singing, etc.

Most of us probably believe that the only thing you need is to be fully prepared with is what you say and how you say it before presenting in front of an audience.  But this isn't true. To help assist you to speak in a clear and audible way, you should think about doing some warm up activities for public speaking.

Because voice is the foundation of public speaking, you should be familiar with basic vocal warm ups for public speaking. Like any other muscle in your body, your vocal muscles must be warmed up before they can function properly. This helps you to deliver your speech confidently and without any trouble. 

Importance Of Vocal Warm Up Activities For Public Speaking

Warming up will undoubtedly increase blood flow to your body parts, especially the larynx. This includes your lips, tongue, and lungs as well. Warming up also stretches the vocal folds. When you speak non-stop for more than a few minutes, you are likely to experience hoarseness and vocal fatigue, affecting the rest of your presentation.

Warming up before giving a presentation can help to avoid this. Furthermore, it will allow your voice to reach a wider range of pitch, which is an important component of being an effective public speaker.

Effective communication is dependent not only on what you say but also on how you say it. Remember, you're speaking in front of an audience to share your ideas; making sure the audience understands you is critical.

A monotone or dull voice is also undesirable; the audience may become bored, and your speech will appear powerless. If this is the case, there is a slim chance that the audience will remain attentive until the end of your presentation. Check out the article "How to Improve Voice Modulation in Public Speaking" for more detail surrounding tone of voice.

Warming up, just like when you're about to work out, can help the circulation of blood flow and prevent injuries. Similarly, warm up exercises in public speaking are essential for avoiding the same. You don't want to injure your voice in the middle of a presentation. Aside from that, doing the proper warm ups can help your voice sound natural and euphonic without force.

Best 8 Warm Up Activities for Public Speaking

Warm up exercises for public speaking will help you balance the air pressure delivered to your vocal cords. This allows you to be more relaxed, shifting into different vocal registers. You'll have no trouble switching between tones, making you feel more at ease when speaking in an audience. Without further ado, here are the 8 Warm up activities for public speaking:

1. Loosen Up and Shush

The first thing you'll need to do is relax. Take deep breaths while relaxing and wiggling your shoulders, jaw, and neck. This allows you to move out those nerves and make more room in your body. This is useful if you are prone to sounding anxious or tight. Instead of taking a deep breath with your shoulders, try breathing from your belly. Good vocal breathing occurs in the belly. Thus, all movement should occur in the belly.

To do this, put your hands into your stomach and, like a balloon, push your stomach into your hand. Try pushing air out of your stomach to the front of your mouth. Pretend you're a librarian telling the students to remain silent. Remember to keep your shoulders down, and your attention is on your belly. This warm up also helps you with breathing techniques. 

You can also try different variations by pumping the shush. Instead of long "shuuuush," say "shush-shush-shush-shush." This prepares your diaphragm and lungs to expel a large amount of air as you speak. This tip should take no longer than a minute of shushing and shake loose.

2. Tongue Trills

This is a common warm up for most singers, but it is also useful for public speaking. This warm up's tongue is the focus; speaking with a nice, loose tongue and jaw is critical. This warm up is beneficial before speaking in front of an audience if you have a tense jaw or tongue.

Place the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth to achieve this. By continuously rolling an "r," you can perform a variety of pitches. You should be able to feel the vibration from your tongue through your jaw. It is advantageous to have a muscular adjustment to easily adjust from a light to a heavy vocal emphasis. Remember to have proper breathing as you do this warm up. It is suggested to do descending and ascending, five times each! 

3. Humming

It is yet another warm up exercise for your mouth and vocal cords. What matters most is that you feel the vibration of humming. Humming is an excellent warm up exercise, especially if you are asked to speak early in the morning. This allows you to draw attention to the various vibrations produced by your body in general.

Close your mouth and begin with the fundamentals. Assume you're eating something delicious and thinking to yourself, "hmm..." Hold that for a few seconds, keeping your cheeks and jaws loose. After that, experiment with different tones, as you did with tongue trills. You can also do it the other way by changing "hmm" to "ahhh."

Try to imagine moving the sound throughout your body while humming. Begin with your belly and work your way up to your chest, throat, and head. We may not use all of them during public speaking, but it is important to warm them all up so that we can access the various tones within our bodies.

4. Chant

Chanting is probably the most important pre-public-speaking warm up activity. Following the humming, enunciate these four words repeatedly: "meem, mime, mohm, moom." Because they all begin with "m," they should follow naturally after your humming, maintaining that prolonged "m" as you say each one.

Begin humming, then slowly open your mouth and say, "meem, mime, mohm, moom." After that, go up and down in different pitches with them. This will make you feel more at ease with resonance. Don't be discouraged if doing this sounds a little rough; it's perfectly normal. You will notice your voice becoming clearer by doing this for a few minutes. Eventually, your voice will be smoother than ever!

5. Pronounce

This is a great warm up activity for public speaking because it prepares your mouth to enunciate your words and sound clearly. You can say a couple of words like "ma, pa, ta." While properly enunciating these sounds, open your mouth wide. This trains your mouth on pronunciation and the ability of your jaw to assist you in emphasizing your words. It is recommended that you repeat this 5 to 10 times.

6. Lip Trill

Lip trill, also known as lip buzzing, is a popular warm up exercise for singers. Simply make a motorboat-like sound with your lips while blowing air through them. Lip trilling connects the pressure of your breath to your vocal folds. Essentially, speakers require a nice steady air pressure to speak clearly from beginning to end of the speech. Lip trill is attempting to improve on this. Furthermore, warming up with lip trills helps move your air immediately and act on your inhaling.

Place your ring fingers at the corners of your mouth and push your cheeks upward to achieve this. To make your lips trill, blow a steady air stream through them. Try to only blow as much air as you need to keep the lip trill going for as long as possible.

7. Jaw release

Rehearsing for a speech or presentation entails a lot of speaking. It is possible to sustain a jaw injury. Jaw release is an appropriate warm up exercise before rehearsing and presenting in front of an audience to avoid this.

There is no doubt that your jaw plays a significant role when speaking. Consider having a painful jaw during a public speaking performance; this can hurt almost everything. You will have difficulty enunciating your words which will result in a loss of focus on your message.

Hold your face with your fingers while applying pressure on both sides. Gently press your hands to your cheeks and slowly lower your jaw. This helps prevent jaw dysfunction and pain, as well as face and headaches.

8. Tongue Twisters

In public speaking, how well you articulate your words is also important. Tongue twister, in addition to tongue trills, warms up your tongue and improves your vocal range. This can be beneficial to your mouth and lips as well. This warm up aims to say sentences without putting too much strain on your tongue, throat, lips, and jaw.

The sentences in tongue twister are not simple. They are naturally difficult to enunciate, making them an excellent warm up exercise for public speakers. If you can learn to enunciate difficult-to-pronounce sentences, it is easier to deliver your speech! You could try some of the following popular tongue twisters:

“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?”

“If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the cross coarse cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.”

“Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons—balancing them badly.”

Warm Up Activities for Public Speaking: Final Thoughts

Warm up activities for public speaking should not be overlooked. Everyone should understand that these are not optional activities but essential components of public speaking. Warming up doesn't take long; you can do it while in the bathroom or driving to the venue where you'll be presenting your public speaking. Never let any constraints interfere with your next public speaking engagement by following the best 8 warm up activities!

For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check the Online Resources for Public Speaking. Now that you know the Best 8 Warm up Activities for Public Speaking, read this article to find out Why Appearance Matters In Public Speaking


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Posted in  Public Speaking Topics   on  January 26, 2022 by  Dan W ,   The Best 8 Warm Up Activities For Public Speaking

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