1. Drink a lot of water. With lemon, especially first thing in the morning. Stay hydrated all day long. You gotta stay ready to work at all times.
2. Yawn. Yawning builds up your throat muscles, which will ultimately give you more control over that area.
Warm Ups, Stretches, and Singing
3. Warm up before doing any significant amount of speaking. Sirens (google it) are the best thing to do if you only have a minute. You’ll save yourself the trouble of fixing damage afterwards, plus it makes you look like a crazy person! Super fun to do on public transportation.
4. Sing! Singing has tremendously improved my tone and clarity. By utilizing different warm-ups and encouraging the exploration of my face cavities, I now feel much more confident about my instrument as a whole. I highly recommend exploring local teacher options in your area, or even asking a friend who can sing to help you out. There are also a lot of great online resources for warm-up exercises.
5. Stretch your body out, and engage your hips to center yourself and get your energy flowing. Runner’s stretches and other similar yoga moves are great for releasing the hip sockets, which tend to hold onto a great deal of stress. A loose body is a relaxed body, which then produces a relaxed voice.
6. Practice moving your pelvic core. This is more useful for singing than talking, but it helps to align your body and make long form reading easier.
Deep Breathing for Long Form Voice Over
7. Deep breathe as many times as you can stand. There are more detailed tutorials out there, but basically, lay on your back with your knees up, and breathe out until your air is completely gone. You’ll achieve a weird hissing noise then go totally silent when it’s all out. Wait a few seconds, then slowly breathe back in from the diaphragm. A few of these should open up your lung capacity and allow you to breathe deeper breaths while holding onto air longer. Be careful not to stand up too quickly!
8. Tongue twisters. Commit a bunch to memory. I do ‘red leather, yellow leather, lavender leather’, ‘unique New York’, ‘blue blood black blood’, and a few others. Rodney Saulsberry has a ton of these out there, and they’re great.
9. Obstruction exercises. Stick an object with a decent diameter, maybe an inch or two, between your teeth and try to enunciate words as normal. I use an old wine cork that I don’t wash often enough. You’ll hear the difference in diction immediately, and your jaw should feel a little looser.
Practice Makes Perfect VO
10. Go to work. Do your books, turn in auditions, practice being on top of the things you need to be on top of. Blog. Otherwise, you’ll start storing up the regret in your body until you need to see a chiropractor. Embrace routines, relax the body, and your voice will likely benefit in some way…and drink a cup of throat coat at the end of the day. There.