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Prepare to Speak
1) Posture--Make sure that you sit or stand with good posture. Place your shoulders back a little bit and let your back settle into its "natural" good posture--do not create posture with tension. There is an ideal place for your spine--find that and you find your posture.
2) Breath--Breathe in and out deeply several times. Use your diaphragm muscle if you can. Imagine all your lungs fill with air--especially the bottom-most lungs (as these are most difficult to access). Use this time to remember your breath and loosen your whole body--let go of tension. You can also breathe out with a "huh" sound.
3) Face--Move your face around. Scrunch it into funny faces. Remove all tension from your face. After this, think about the sides of your face hanging loose, relaxed. Also think about a small space between your teeth in order to release tension from your jaw.
4) The Lips--Sounds which use the lips are B, P, M, J, CH, SH, QU, W, the long E, the long O, the long U and OU/OW. Speak these sounds: bu, pu, mu, ju, chu, shu, qu, wu, ee, oh, ooh, ouch several times. As you do this, think about your lips moving. The "u" is the simple sound in "up."
5) The Jaw--Sounds which use the jaw are the short A, short O and the long I. Speak the sounds only or use simple words such as: cat, cot, kite, bat, bought, bite, fat, fought, fight. Concentrate on moving your jaw a lot and without tension. Imagine it is a door hinge that is well-oiled.
6. The Tongue--We use the tongue several different ways. Back of the tongue sounds are: G, K, NG, NK. Front of the tongue sounds are: D, S, Z, L, N, T and TH. Middle of the tongue sounds (in which the entire tongue is tense) are: Y and R. Practice each of these: gu, ku, ing, ink, du, su, zu, lu, nu, tu, thu, yu, ru. Do this several times. Be aware of your tongue and what it does to make each of these sounds.
7. The Teeth--We make two sounds using the teeth and the lips: F and V. You can practice these as well by repeating fu, vu.
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