How to improve diction and speech for adults and teenagers? Exercises to improve diction, tongue twisters, work on pronunciation

Attracting the attention of the audience and genuinely getting people interested in your story is a painstaking and complex process that professional speakers cannot always cope with. What can we say about those ordinary people who from time to time have to speak in front of an unfamiliar audience.

Even in ancient times, many thinkers and philosophers called speaking in front of a crowd a real art. The most educated and charismatic person will not be able to gain the trust of people and convey his thoughts to them if he has problems with diction.

Every year it becomes more and more difficult to find a person who not only has perfect diction, but also constantly improves his speech. Many people forget that nature rarely rewards anyone with speech abilities. Therefore, those individuals who want to have excellent diction and clear pronunciation should regularly perform a set of exercises. What exercises will help improve your diction? Today we will tell you about it.

What is speech diction?

Diction is the clear pronunciation of sounds and words. Clear and beautiful speech has a positive effect on the perception of the person who has it. Therefore, not only the announcer of central television, but each of us must have clear and intelligible diction.

If you want not just to speak, but to make sure that your interlocutors understand you, you need to work on your diction. Especially if she needs it.

What does diction consist of:

Clear articulation (Correct and clear pronunciation of sounds). It is thanks to clear articulation that the speaker’s speech is legible and his interlocutors easily understand what he wants to convey. Violation of this indicator of diction may occur due to the physiological characteristics of a person. You can improve the clarity of pronunciation of sounds by training your tongue and lip muscles.

Correct articulation (Coordinated movement of the muscles of the articulatory apparatus). Malocclusions, frenulums, etc. have a negative effect on articulation. With such physiological deviations, burr and nasal sound may appear.

Timbre . Often, the manner of pronunciation is influenced by a person’s temperament. The speaker may tend to monotony or speed up his speech. Often it is haste that occurs in people with poor diction. But, as practice shows, almost anyone can “defeat” this problem.

Intonation . As for intonation, it is formed primarily from the ability to clearly pronounce vowel sounds and stress. You can set intonation with the help of some breathing exercises and reading aloud. Improving intonation is very difficult and painstaking work.

Is it worth taking speech development courses?

There are speech development courses designed for speakers. They include not only exercises for correct pronunciation, but also tips to help cope with problems that arise during public speaking. The programs of such courses consist of several lessons:

  • rules of articulation;
  • learning the basics of proper breathing;
  • development of vocal range and strength;
  • rules for constructing intonation;
  • study of orthoepy;
  • mastering the basics of gestures.

The courses help you learn proper pronunciation techniques and overcome the fear of speaking in front of an audience. Working on yourself involves long sessions, which is why announcers do this.

Speech defects arise due to improper structure of the speech apparatus or due to improper formation of sounds in childhood. The first type of defects can only be corrected with the help of speech therapists or dentists, if we are talking about irregular teeth structure.

You can correct your speech by using the normal arrangement of the organs of articulation during a conversation. In the absence of deviations in the development of the body, defects appear:

  • sonorous sounds;
  • hissing;
  • whistling.

The occurrence of such defects occurs as a result of even a slight deviation of the speech organs from their natural location. For correct pronunciation, you need to know how to correctly position the lips, tongue, soft palate and lower jaw. This can only be achieved through training, because working on speech correction implies constant improvement.

Is it necessary to read aloud to develop diction?

Reading aloud

Every speech therapist will tell you that one of the best exercises for diction is reading aloud. At the same time, what is important is not the number of words read, but the articulation and clarity of pronunciation of sounds.

When using this technique, do not forget that reading has other useful qualities. A pleasant “bonus” of this technique for improving diction will be an increase in vocabulary, improved imagination, and memory development.

Many people love to read, but their diction leaves much to be desired. That is why you need to read it out loud. Try to pronounce the letters and words written in books clearly and with expression, and paint your speech with emotional colors.

Regular reading aloud will help get rid of tongue-tied speech, slips of the tongue, hesitations and other things that negatively affect diction.

Since the text of books, especially in classical literature, is very different from the way we speak in everyday life, it will help you not only express yourself beautifully, but also shape your speech according to the literary language.

When reading aloud, do not rush. Sit in a comfortable chair and grab a book. It is advisable that this be one of your favorite books. Of course, militants or Russian “detectives” are not suitable for such practice. Difficult scientific literature too.

Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy has a very beautiful style. But his main work, War and Peace, contains too much French. Therefore, this work will not suit you. Practice on his earlier stories.

Soviet science fiction is very good for reading aloud. Especially the works of the Strugatsky brothers. Unfortunately, their modern followers have simplified the genre too much and are unlikely to be suitable for reading aloud.

Read the chosen work expressively, marking the emphasis and making the necessary pauses. If we return to the Strugatskys, then listen to the audio books of these authors, recorded by Vladimir Levashov. Take his diction as a standard and try to repeat it.

You can take it a step further and add a little artistry to your read-aloud. Try to imagine the characters of the work, their appearance and character. Then add individual notes to their remarks. But, of course, you shouldn’t forget about the most important thing – diction training. There is no need to overdo it with artistry.

Once you become confident in reading aloud, you can increase your reading speed a little. But it is important to pronounce sounds and words clearly and distinctly. As you increase your reading speed, you must avoid monotony and excessive acceleration. Even if on the next page of the book you find out the outcome of the event.

For reading aloud to be effective, it is important to read for at least 30 minutes a day. And within a month you will be able to achieve noticeable success. And in order to be absolutely sure that your diction is progressing, record on a voice recorder how you started reading aloud and how you read after some time of such regular training.

Working on speaking skills

How to improve your speech diction quickly? To achieve results, you will need to work on your speaking skills.

The recommendations will be as follows:

  • The voice should not be monotonous. To improve your speech and diction, you need to learn to speak emotionally. It is necessary to master the ability to change tonality. This will help the other person understand whether you are asking a question or asserting something.
  • Contents of the conversation. Learn new words to enrich your vocabulary. This way you can improve your speech and diversify it. It is advisable to avoid tautologies and frequent repetition of the same words.
  • Words with unknown meaning. If you don't know the meaning, it's better not to use it in conversation.
  • Try to get rid of parasitic words.

The tips are very simple, but significantly improve your speaking skills.

How to improve diction for an adult or a teenager?

The King speaks!

WALNUTS . A good way to improve your diction is to use walnuts for this. They need to be placed behind the cheek (one on each side) and the tongue twister must be spoken for several minutes. After which you need to remove the nuts and say the same tongue twister again.

PENCIL IN YOUR TEETH . Hold a pencil between your teeth and read a poem from memory with expression.

IMPORTANT: Both methods can be used by both children and adults. With their regular use, you can improve your diction and make your speech more relaxed and free. This technique can be used even in cases of speech impairment due to a stroke.

RECORDING ON A DICTAPHONE . This technique can be combined with reading aloud, which we described above. Turn on the recorder before you start reading aloud and record a fragment of any text you read. Then you need to listen to the recording and mark the sounds that you pronounce incorrectly. When you read books aloud later, try to pay special attention to problematic sounds.

TONGUE TWISTERS . Perhaps the most famous way to improve your diction is tongue twisters. Repeat these rhythmic phrases daily. Pay special attention to the pronunciation of problematic sounds. If your diction suffers from incorrectly pronounced hissing or whistling sounds, then you can solve this problem with the help of a tongue twister:

ARTICULATIVE GYMNASTICS . There are a lot of exercises to improve diction, which are included in the concept of articulatory gymnastics. With their help, you can significantly improve the pronunciation of an adult. We will talk about them in the section “Exercises for diction and articulation.”

BREATHING EXERCISES . Many people underestimate proper posture and breathing when communicating with other people. But without this it is impossible to have correct diction. Entire courses in the study of acting are devoted to correct inhalation and exhalation. And if you want to speak like Andrei Mironov or Vasily Livanov, then be sure to devote a few minutes a day to breathing training.

  1. Stand straight, place your hands on your waist and your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Inhale slowly through slightly parted lips
  3. Then try also inhaling air while reading the text out loud
  4. Then make the task even more difficult: move around the room, take a breath and speak
  5. As you exhale, rise up and stretch the letter “mm-mm”

Articulation apparatus training

The articulatory apparatus is our physiological speech complex: lips, tongue, teeth, palate - everything that is responsible for creating sounds. Often, developing articulation means pronouncing tongue twisters, but this is a completely wrong approach. We are developing physiology, so we will focus on the following aspects.

  • Jaw. We place our elbows on the table, clench our palms into fists. We place our chin on our fists, supporting our head with our hands. We begin to slowly press our head into our hands, making slight circular movements. The jaw should feel pressure. Then we, standing or sitting, move the jaw in different directions.
  • Cheeks. We retract and inflate our cheeks alternately; we drive air from one cheek to the other, inflate them; as if we are pushing the air out of our lips, but at the same time we keep our lips closed - they should puff up.
  • Sky. Yawn actively and widely; move the tongue across the palate from the teeth to the soft palate; imitate gargling.
  • Lips. A wide smile alternately with lips pursed into a tight tube; chewing lips (mild); move your tightly closed lips in different directions; alternately expose the upper and lower teeth; We make a “horse” snort.
  • Language. We rotate it in the mouth, tracing the teeth and cheeks; chew the tongue; pull the tongue to the chin and nose; fold it into a tube and draw air through it.

Warm-up for diction

Pencil in teeth is a great exercise for diction

Before public speaking, it is imperative to warm up your diction. To do this, you can use the methods described above. For example, take a pencil between your teeth and read a few tongue twisters. After which you need to say the same thing without a pencil.

Try saying complex words from the text you want to convey to your audience several times. Read your favorite poem from memory. A few minutes of this warm-up will be enough to stretch your vocal cords, facial muscles and prepare yourself for the performance.

You can also stretch your diction using the following exercises:

Stick it out and hide itWe push the tongue forward as far as possible, then hide it back. We move our tongue forward and then back. Exercise duration: 2-4 minutes
Poking cheeks with tongueWe begin to prick our cheeks with our tongue one by one. First we prick the left cheek, then the right. Exercise duration 3-5 minutes
"Teeth cleaning"Rotate your tongue in a circle in your mouth. The mouth must be closed. We do 15-20 rotations clockwise and vice versa
Circular movementsWe stretch out the tongue and twist it in a circle. We make 10-15 circles clockwise, then counterclockwise
"Tube - smile"We stretch our lips forward, after 3 seconds you begin to smile as widely as possible. First the lips forward, then back. We do this exercise for at least 3 minutes.
"Bubble"First we inflate one cheek, then the other. Duration 2 minutes

Improving voice timbre

To improve diction and voice timbre, an adult needs to perform special exercises. It is impossible to make changes to natural data, but decorating them is an achievable task.

We improve the sound of our voice using the following exercises:

  1. Stand straight. The chin is fixed in a natural position. We stretch our neck as far forward as possible, and fixate for a few seconds.
  2. Open your mouth, push your tongue as far forward/down as possible. The head is bowed to the chest. Raise your tongue to the tip of your nose while lifting your head. While moving, stretch your neck as far as possible.
  3. We take a deep breath. While exhaling, pronounce the word “BOMM” loudly, stretching out the last letter as long as possible. You should feel a slight vibration at the tip of your nose and upper lip.
  4. Full breath. We release the air from the lungs, pronouncing the syllable “MI-MII”. The first part is short, the second - in a drawn-out singsong voice.
  5. Stand straight, hands on your chest. As you inhale, bend forward and chant the letters “U” and “O”. After this, chant the words “MILK”, “FLOUR”, “TIN”.
  6. Click your tongue, gradually changing the position of your lips. At first they are gathered into a tube, at the end they are stretched into a full smile.
  7. The mouth is open, the nose is pinched with the fingers. We breathe through our mouths and at the same time read any text out loud. The duration of the exercise is 5 minutes.
  8. Head down, chin pressed to chest. We exhale, pronouncing the sounds “O” or “U” until the air runs out. We place our hand on the chest and, by patting, increase the vibration of the sound.

These exercises guarantee improvement in speech and voice timbre in a short time.

Working on diction and pronunciation

Oratorical talent is extremely rare. Almost all famous people intensively prepare for every public appearance. It is known that Cicero could not utter a single word without preparation. And he is still held up as an example as a great rhetorician.

There are many exercises with which your speech can become clear and beautiful. There are both universal exercises and those that are designed to help correct a specific problem. For example, a whistling “S”, an indistinct “L” or a violation in the pronunciation of the sound “R”. In order to solve these problems you will have to work.

Breathing training

Breathing also requires performing simple exercises to ensure correct speech.

  • We inhale slowly through a small hole in the lips, and mentally pronounce the prepared quatrain. We repeat the exercise with walking/running/jumping/any other activity.
  • Standing straight with the body tilted forward, we return to the starting position stretching out sonorous sounds.
  • Standing straight, raise one leg at the knee while taking a deep breath, lower it while exhaling. Repeat alternately with different legs.
  • We suck in our stomach, drawing in full lungs of air. Slowly push out the stomach with air, drawing out a consonant sound.

Exercises for diction and voice


When speaking in public or during normal conversation, we use the muscles of the tongue and throat. It is logical that in order to speak beautifully, you need to “pump up” these muscles. But, unlike the biceps and pectoral muscles, we do not need sports equipment.

1. You can pump up the muscles involved in producing sounds by regularly pronouncing “A-E-O” . At the same time, it is important to try not to open your mouth too much. The effect can be achieved by pronouncing sounds as deep as possible in the oral cavity.

2.A very good effect can be achieved in diction and by training your lips. To do this you need to say:

  • “GL” , “VL” , “VN” - for the upper lip
  • “KS” , “GZ” , “VZ” , “BZ” - for the lower lip

3. You can also shape your tongue into a shovel and say “I” and “E” several times. Now let’s give the tongue the shape of a hook and simultaneously pronounce “O” and “U” .

4. We continue to “pump up” the muscles of the tongue. We close our mouth and, using internal movements of the palate, cheeks and lips, make the sound “M” .

By performing these diction exercises, you can feel the results after just a few regular sessions.

Exercises for diction and articulation


Since the tip of the tongue “works” very actively in clear pronunciation, there are several exercises that will help improve its activity.

1. Imagine that your tongue is a hammer and hit your teeth with its tip. During such blows, “pronounce” yes-yes-yes-yes. Then try to clearly pronounce the letters “T-D” .

2. To clearly pronounce the letters “K” and “G” you need to “pump up” your larynx. To do this, inhale through your nose and completely empty your lungs through your mouth. The release of air through the mouth should occur sharply and resemble the sound “Fu” . Do this exercise several times.

3. If you notice that you have a problem pronouncing the letters “P” and “B” , then train your labial muscles. To do this, you need to puff out your cheeks and release the air from your mouth with a vigorous clap.

4.It is also very important to learn how to control the amount of air. To do this, you need to use breathing exercises and practice in front of a mirror. Try reading a short text at normal volume. As a rule, you can easily control your voice. Now, do the same, but increasing the volume. There must be problems.

By regularly declaring the text at an increased volume, you will soon be able to control the amount of air needed and will be able to successfully speak in front of a large audience.

5.There is another exercise to improve articulation. Take a few lines from your favorite poem. Then eliminate the consonants from these lines and sing only the vowels. Then insert consonants and pronounce them loudly without changing the style of vowel pronunciation.

Articulation can also be improved with the following exercises:



If you notice that you are swallowing the endings of words, then read any text, emphasizing the endings of the words written in it. This needs to be done daily, and after a while you will be able to forget about this problem with your diction.

If you have a problem with the pronunciation of any particular letter, take a Russian dictionary and clearly read all the words starting with that letter. Do this regularly. If desired, record this exercise on a voice recorder.

Tongue twisters for the development of diction

Tongue Twisters

The most popular way to improve your diction is tongue twisters. They can also be used as a warm-up before a public speaking. In general, get into the habit of saying several tongue twisters every day. This training will help you overcome problems in pronouncing certain sounds and will make your speech more convincing and beautiful.

You don't need to set aside time for this type of training. You can repeat tongue twisters while getting ready for work. Experts believe that three weeks of using tongue twisters will make your speech smoother and your diction clearer.

Here are the most popular tongue twisters that will help improve your diction:

To practice sounds: r, l, m, n


To practice sounds: b, p, v, f, g, k, d, t, x


To practice sounds: s, z, sh, zh, h, sch, ts


Articulation gymnastics

It includes exercises to improve the functioning of the articulatory apparatus and tasks for the development of certain sounds.

You can use the warm-up above. Additionally, you can do the following exercises:

  • Shovel. Smile slightly, extend your tongue forward, and place its tip on your lower lip. The walls of the tongue rest against the corners of the mouth.
  • Swing. With your tongue extended, touch your upper and lower lips alternately.
  • Pronounce back-lingual sounds with vowels: ga-ga-ga, ko-ko-ko, ha-ha-ha.

Articulation of sounds sh, zh

These sounds are called hissing sounds, and they have special pronunciation features. To develop these sounds, you need to exaggerate their pronunciation:

  • Sh. Pull the lips forward, round them, create a small gap between the teeth. We raise the tip of the tongue, lower its back, but just a little - the tongue forms a cup. The sides of the tongue are pressed into the molars. We push out the air.
  • G. We create the same position as in the first point. but we close our teeth more tightly and press our cheeks.

Articulation of sounds k, g, x

These are back-lingual sounds.

  • K. Lower the tip of the tongue and move it away from the teeth. The back of the tongue is tightly curved and forms a gap between the palate. Air is expelled.
  • D. Similarly, but the tip of the tongue rests on the lower teeth.
  • X. Similar, but the back of the tongue forms a wider gap.

How to improve diction? Tips and reviews

Christina. I’m from the South of Russia and used to often “ghekala”. When I studied in St. Petersburg I was very embarrassed about this. I searched the Internet and found a simple way to get rid of this speech defect. You just need to pronounce phrases containing the sound “Ge”. It is necessary to focus on this sound and pronounce it clearly. Within two weeks I began to pronounce this sound correctly and forgot about this problem.

Yuri. Even as a student, he participated in the drama club. Our leader tactfully hinted that my diction was not the best. And she asked me to read books out loud at least 30 minutes a day. I liked this exercise so much that I began to devote even more time to it. And the diction became noticeably better.

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