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Home Columns Lifestyle 5 warm-up exercises before presentations - Part Three

5 warm-up exercises before presentations – Part Three

Last updated 6 months ago by UtrechtCentral.com

After sharing three exerices on breathing, posture and vocalisation in part one and part two, now we come to the last two exercises. Are you looking forward to this final part? Did you try out the last three exercises already?

Last but not least, here are the lip trill exercise and the Santa Claus laugh exercise!  

Lip trill exercise for waking up the lips and breath support

How to do the exercise

To do this exercise, lock the corners of your mouth by making a smile or by your fingers and relax your lips. Then make a “boo” sound and let the lips vibrate with a buzzing sound. Try to go up and down in pitch and feel that your lower ribs, lower abdominal muscles and muscles at your lower back are reacting with the pitches.

When the pitch goes up, you would feel the lower abdominal muscles are pulling inwards and a little bit upwards, as if your are zipping up the jeans; meanwhile, the lower ribs and the lower back would go outwards even more.

Benefits of the exercise

This exercise helps to warm-up the lips and to train the breath control. You will find that it is very difficult to make a sound if the connection between your breath support and voice is lost, the efforts should be made in your lower ribs, lower abdomen and lower back, not in your throat or neck.

Lip trill creates a narrowing with the lips at the front of the vocal tract, resulting in a pressure behind the lips which slowly moves backward. This back pressure help to keep the throat open. Besides, since the same air stream flows through the two vibratory sources, which are the lips and the vocal cords, the air flow is cut in half. So this exercise can help to release excessive pressure on the vocal cords, and that’s why you will find it’s much easier and gentle to vocalise on lip trill then normal speaking.

If you feel like it, you can even do lip trill on tunes you like, which can probably help you to release stress even better.

So let’s “buzz” before a presentation!

Santa Claus laugh exercise for breath control and inner smile

santa claus sitting beside lit tree
A happy Santa Claus. Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

How to do the exercise

It is an exercise to vocalise on detached “ho ho ho ho ho”, do it in the Santa Claus style and laugh out with your body. First drop your jaw relaxingly as if you are yawning and breathe in deeply (expansion of your tummy, lower back and lower ribs; stable shoulders and chest), then start to do “ho ho ho ho ho” on a random low pitch which you feel comfortable. Feel the vibration in your chest and the bounces in your tummy while vocalising. Keep you jaw open and relaxed.

Then try to “laugh” higher in pitch, and then “laugh” up and down in scales (like “so fa mi re do”) or just on random pitches. Think of something funny at the same time when the pitch goes higher and higher will help the coordination of the breath support.

Benefits of the exercise

By imitating the laugh of Santa Claus and having funny thoughts in your mind, this gives you an impulse to vocalise with a well coordinated breath support, an open throat and an “inner smile”. The “inner smile” refers to the condition of a high and wide soft palate at the back of your mouth cavity, lifted cheeks under the eyes, a relaxed and open jaw which creates more acoustical space in the pharynx, and hence more resonance.

As many people have experienced in real laughing, you would feel bounces in your tummy and sometimes it may even makes your abdominal muscles really tired. This happens because the voice is well supported by the body, so you can laugh for long without making your voice tired and the voice would have a good projection.

And of course, by laughing in an almost silly way would help you to release stress and get into positive vibes. Why not have a good laugh before presentations?

So this is the end of the sharing, have you tried any of these five exercises? Would you like to get even more tips on voice usage?

Please feel free to leave a comment below to give some feedbacks on the exercises, or suggestions any other topics on voice usage and music that you would like to know more about! Stay tuned! 😉

Ariel Lee
Ariel Lee
Ariel Sin Yu Lee is a singer, song-writer, vocal coach, flutist, flute teacher and actress from Hong Kong. She obtained her master in voice degree in HKU Utrechts Conservatorium in 2019. Besides music, she also did one year of journalism study in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Ariel’s musical styles include classical, pop & jazz, folk and musical theater. Ariel dedicates her life to arts and welcomes new challenges in the Netherlands.


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