Do your friends and family complain that it's hard to understand you when you speak? Do you speak too fast? Too slow? Do you mumble? Do you mispronounce your words?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it's high time that you practiced your diction and articulation. The following exercises should be of help to you – but only if you read them aloud.
If you answered "no" to all of the above questions, then answer one more for me: Do you like to entertain, or be entertained? If "yes," then try reading the following diction and articulation exercises out loud. You'll laugh at yourself and begin to feel self-conscious as others around you laugh as well.
Gathered from various places on the Web, I hope you will enjoy these exercises – whether you need them or not!
1) Amidst the mists and coldest frosts
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts
He thrusts his fists against the posts
And still insists he sees the ghosts.
2) Around and round the rough and rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.
3) The seething sea ceaseth, and thus the seething sea sufficeth us.
4) Sheep shouldn't sleep in a shack; sheep should sleep in a bed.
5) The big black bug bit the big black bear, and the big black bear bled blue blood.
6) She says she shall sew a sheet.
7) 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?
8) I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop. Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.
9) How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
10) Theophilus Thistler, the thistle sifter, in sifting a sieve of unsifted thistles, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb.
11) Betty bought a bit of butter, but she found the butter bitter, so Betty bought a bit of better butter to make the bitter butter better.
12) My cutlery cuts keenly and cleanly.
13) Larry sent the latter a letter later.
14) You know New York
You need New York
You know you need unique New York.
15) Which witch watched which watch?
16) When does the wrist watch strap shop shut?
17) A cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.
18) Lesser leather never weathered lesser wetter weather.
19) Few free fruit flies fly from flames.
20) Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
21) To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock
In a pestilential prison with a life-long lock
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black lock.
22) What a to-do to die today
At a minute or two to two
A thing distinctly hard to say
But a harder thing to do.
For they'll beat a tattoo at two today
A rat-a-tat at two
And the dragon will come when he hears the drum
At a minute or two to two today
At a minute or two today.
23) A tree toad loved a she-toad
Who lived up in a tree.
He was a two-toed tree toad
But a three-toed toad was she.
The two-toed tree toad tried to win
The three-toed tree toad's heart.
For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground
That the three-toed tree toad trod.
But the two-toed tree toad tried in vain
He couldn't please her whim.
From her tree toad bower
With her three-toed power
The she-toad vetoed him.
24) A flea and a fly in a flue
Were imprisoned. So what could they do?
Said the fly, "Let us flee."
Said the flea, "Let us fly."
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.
25) Give me the gift of a grip-top sock,
A clip-drape shipshape tip-top sock.
Not your spin-slick slapstick slipshod stock,
But a plastic, elastic grip-top sock.
None of your fantastic slack swap slop
From a slap-dash flash-cash haberdash shop.
Not a knick-knack knit-lock
Knock-kneed knickerbocker sock
With a mock-shot blob-mottled trick-ticker top clock.
Not a super-sheet seersucker rucksack sock,
Not a spot-speckled frog-freckled cheap sheik's sock
Off a hodge-podge moss-blotched scotch-botched block.
Nothing slipshod drip-drop flip-flop or glip-glop
Tip me to a tip-top grip-top sock.