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Polish Your Articulation for a Better Sound

Clear articulation is one of the keys to an effective voice. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to polish your articulation. Mastering the six consonant sounds below, especially when they occur in the final position in a word, improves your overall sound.


Voiceless                  Voiced

/t/ to                     /d/ do

/p/ pop                  /b/ boy

/k/ key                   /g/ got

These sounds are called “plosives” or “stops” because they each require a burst of air for their production. If you hold your hand in front of your mouth, you should feel a puff of air as you say each of these sounds. Try it. Hold your hand about three inches from your lips and make a “p” sound several times. Do you feel the air hitting your hand?

Now that you know how it feels to explode these sounds, look at this sentence that requires the production of initial, medial, and final plosives: “Last winter the lists show it snowed two feet,” Say this sentence out loud. If it sounds like, “Lass winner the lis show i snow two fee,” you know you have not pronounced your consonant plosive sounds. You”ve lost the intelligibility of the sentence. It’s not necessary to hit all the plosives in that sentence to sound articulate, but dropping all of them erodes your credibility.

Working on these endings is just one of the things I cover in my Articulation mp3.


Buy my 10-minute Articulation mp3 for only $9.99 many more exercises on all aspects of articulation.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Richard Kaulfers September 10, 2011, 4:55 pm

    Awareness of how words “should” sound help a lot. Dr. Utterback your posts are as clear as your articulation. The 5th Edition of The Broadcasters Handbook continues to serve great value to me as I am starting my career in broadcast journalism.

  • Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. September 11, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m happy my writing is helping you. Nothing makes a writer feel better. You are great to take the time to leave a comment!

  • Malakai Anzalone February 8, 2012, 9:07 am

    Major thanks for the article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  • Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. February 8, 2012, 10:28 am

    Malakai–So glad you found this article helpful. Ck back for future blog posts!

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