Vocal apparatus is a family of human organs that take part in speech production (talking). Some of them need active muscles control for sounds clear pronunciation, and a speaker should train these organs of vocal apparatus by doing articulation gymnastics on a regular basis.
Articulation gymnastics helps to develop the muscles operating our vocal apparatus, makes our diction clear, fills our speech with energetics, and makes our a powerful instrument of persuasion.
Exercises for Tongue
1) “TRAVEL”. Move your tongue up, down, right, and left inside your closed mouth cavity; put it through outer and inner faces of your up and down teeth; turn the tongue up to your roof, down to frenulum, them right and left; massage cheeks inside your mouth.
2) “BRIDLE”. Part your lips, up your tongue to the roof, stick it, and then down your jaws and away the tongue from your roof.
3) “MASSAGE”. Thrust your tongue to the roots of your upper and lower teeth as if you want to push them out. Do this exercise with your mouth closed. By slowly moving your tongue in and out, nibble it slightly.
4) “FREESTYLE”. Open your mouth and make circles with your tongue; conduct it along the lips; try to get to your nose and chin. Unbrace the muscles of your tongue and then - tense them harshly.
5) “LIMO”. Unbrace the muscles of your tongue and throw it out of your mouth. Tense the tongue and relax it slightly (5-8 times). Then, use the tip of your tongue to “write” your name in the air.
6) “LETTER”. Unbrace the muscles of your tongue and throw it out of your mouth to the max. Tense it harshly and then relax it. Use the tip of your tongue to “write” your name on a sheet of paper. Repeat several times.
Exercises for Lips
1) “BABY ELEPHANT”. Push your occluding lips forward and sideways. Do the same with open lips slowly (three times) and quickly (eight times).
2) “FREESTYLE”. Shut your jaws and lips. Start pushing your lips forward, sideways, and back; then, “hide” them in your mouth and push them back. Try to touch your nose with your lower lip and your chin - with your upper lip.
3) “MASSAGE”. Open your mouth and scratch your inner side of lips on teeth (the upper lip - on upper teeth, the lower lip - on lower teeth, then - two lips simultaneously).
4) “BOTOX”. Try to “swallow” your lower lip as far as possible. Do the same with your upper lip.
Exercises for Jaws
1) Part your lips. Move your lower jaw forward, back, left, and right; then do circles with your jaw every which way (three minutes).
2) On the count of one - half-sunk your jaw, on the count of two - gape your mouth, on the count of three - shut your mouth. Do this exercise, using the formula 2-3-1, 1-2-3, 3-2-1, 2-1-3, 3-1-2 for three minutes.
And finally, try to pronounce crack-jawed texts with articulatory precision. Do it noiselessly first, and loudly afterward. Start pronouncing slowly, as if you spell them, and then speed up:
A tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot
Said the two to the tutor
“Is it tougher to toot
Or to tutor two tooters to toot?”
I thought a thought.
But the thought I thought wasn’t the thought I thought I thought.
If the thought I thought I thought had been the thought I thought, I wouldn’t have thought so much.
I’m not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate,
And I’m only plucking pheasants ‘cause the pheasant plucker’s late.
I’m not the pheasant plucker, I’m the pheasant plucker’s son,
And I’m only plucking pheasants till the pheasant pluckers come.
Or, you can accept the challenge and read The Chaos, a poem demonstrating the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation. Most native speakers find it difficult to pronounce all words from the poem, so it can be a perfect variant of articulation gymnastics for speakers.
Do all above exercises on daily basis. Remember: regular exercising develops the muscles operating your vocal apparatus, makes your diction clear and concise, which is essential for public speakers who want to acquire the skill of persuasion.