Unconventional ways to practice

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With nationals for both NFL and CFL coming up, everyone is running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get ready.  Practices increase and things get more intense as everyone tries to keep their eyes on the prize.  Generally practice consists of running your event into the ground.  Do your HI piece 20 times until you get the timing on that line JUST right.  Run through 5 extemp speeches a day.  Tweak your duo until you're blue in the face.  These are necessary things, because they are directly related to your performance.  However, sometimes you need to take the Taco Bell approach and think outside the bun.  I decided to sit down today and think up some different ways to practice.  Here's what I came up with:

Diverse Practice Technique # 1:

Nationals DVDs.  Our team has a collection of final round national dvds.  If you have these, great! If you don't, that's what youtube is for! But the concept is simple.  Get a final round dvd for your event and sit and watch the best at work.  Take notes on their performance and try to figure out ways to incorporate their strengths into your piece.

Diverse Practice Technique # 2:

Enunciation Drills.  There is hardly a person out there who has PERFECT enunciation.  There is always room to improve.  So spend the day trying to improve your enunciation.  This can be done by speaking with a pen clenched between your teeth or through tongue twisters.  Say them until you get them right! My personal favorites include:

"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.  If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?"

"She makes a perfect cup of coffee in a copper coffee pot."

"Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone"

(this one is harder than it looks!) "Freshly fried flying fish"

I personally like a particular tongue-twister involving mother pheasants and "a rat ran across the room of a house with a lump of raw liver in its mouth."  That's fantastic for hitting all the consonants and vowel sounds--not really challenging to say though.  Love the one with the fish btw!  Thanks for sharing.

I would also like to add improv games are a fun way to warm up...among other things. 

That fish tongue twister is a doozy :^)

I also recommend your suggestion of biting on a pen or pencil while speaking. It really does help with diction.

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