The Power of Tongue Twisters: Enhancing Your Scientific or Research Presentation Delivery

Articulation: Clear and Crisp Speech - The power of tongue twisters in scientific and research presentation delivery

Delivering a compelling presentation requires more than just a well-crafted message; it demands clarity, confidence, and charisma. One effective yet fun way to enhance your presentation skills is through practicing tongue twisters. These playful phrases offer surprising benefits for articulation, speech speed, and relaxation.

Here’s how incorporating tongue twisters into your preparation routine can elevate your presentation delivery.

Articulation: Clear and Crisp Speech

Articulation is crucial in ensuring your audience understands your message. Tongue twisters are excellent exercises for improving enunciation and clarity. By repeatedly practicing phrases like “She sells seashells by the seashore” or “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,” you train your mouth and tongue to move more precisely. This practice helps eliminate mumbling and slurring, allowing you to deliver your words clearly and effectively.

Articulation: Clear and Crisp Speech - The power of tongue twisters in scientific and research presentation delivery

Speed Control: Pacing Your Speech

Speaking too quickly can confuse your audience, while speaking too slowly can bore them. Tongue twisters are valuable tools for gaining control over your speech speed. When you practice saying complex phrases rapidly and then slowly, you become more aware of your pacing. This awareness helps you modulate your speed during a presentation, ensuring that you neither rush through important points nor drag on, keeping your audience engaged and attentive.

The power of tongue twisters in scientific and research presentation delivery - Speed Control: Pacing Your Speech

Relaxing the Mouth: Reducing Tension

Public speaking often induces nervousness, which can cause tension in your mouth and facial muscles. Tongue twisters serve as excellent warm-up exercises to relax these muscles. Practicing tongue twisters loosens up your mouth, making it easier to form words effortlessly and reducing the physical strain of speaking. This relaxation translates into a more natural and confident delivery, helping you connect better with your audience.

The power of tongue twisters in scientific and research presentation delivery - Relaxing the Mouth: Reducing Tension

Tips to bear in mind before you start

Start Slowly and Carefully:

Begin at a pace where you can comfortably articulate each word.

Focus on Clarity:

Ensure the beginning and ending of each word are pronounced crisply and clearly.

Practice and Repeat:

Gradually increase your speed while maintaining clear speech. Make sure vowel and consonant sounds remain distinct. If you stumble, stop and start again.

A selection of tongue twisters

Betty Botter bought some butter and she put it in her batter;
“But,” said she, “this butter’s bitter!
Now that I’ve put it in my batter, it has made my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter will make my batter better.”
And so it was that Betty Botter bought a bit of butter better.
She put the better butter in her bitter batter to make her bitter batter better.

Shep Schwab shopped at Scott’s Schnapps shop;
One shot of Scott’s Schnapps stopped Schwab’s watch.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee.
Made in a proper copper coffee pot.
You can believe it or not.
But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re not good to me.
If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee.
Made in a proper copper coffee pot.
You can believe it or not.
But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
She sells seashells by the seashore,
The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure.
So if she sells seashells on the seashore,
Then I’m sure she sells seashore shells galore!

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?

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck
if a woodchuck would chuck wood.
A flea and a fly flew up in a flue.
Said the flea, “Let us fly!”
Said the fly, “Let us flee!”
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

And that’s it!

Incorporating tongue twisters into your presentation practice routine is a simple yet effective strategy to enhance your delivery. By improving articulation, controlling speech speed, and relaxing your mouth, tongue twisters can transform your public speaking skills. So, next time you’re preparing for a presentation, take a few minutes to enjoy these playful exercises. Your audience will thank you for it!

If you’ve found this useful, you might find our Presentation Skills and Public Speaking Training and Presentation and Speaking Coaching of interest.

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Suzanne Whitby

Suzanne Whitby

Suzanne Whitby is a communication specialist, futurist and sustainability catalyst who believes that science and research matters if we want to co-create hopeful, resilient and sustainable futures. Since 2014, she has been designing and leading communication training and workshops at SciComm Success, and also provides online facilitation and moderation to support organisers of online academic meetings and events.