Do speakers take their voices for granted?
When I recently asked a group of professional speakers if they did specific things to care for their voice on a regular basis, 10 out of 80 responded that they did. Only 5 said they cared for their voice on a daily basis. Yet 75% of those polled said that they had experienced voice discomfort either during or after a presentation.
Some of the signs of vocal stress include: A sore throat, dry mouth, loss of range, change in tone, breathy or fuzzy sound, and a cracking voice.
The voice, when cared for properly, can have an exciting and vibrant sound that lasts through even the longest session. It’s easier than you may think.
Four Steps To The Care and Feeding of Your Voice
1. Be Physically Fit.
Speaking is a physical activity that involves the whole body. So be an athlete in training and:
- Eat right. Concentrate on foods that energize you.
- Exercise. Aerobics at least three times a week for voice stamina.
- Get plenty of rest. A rested voice has sparkle.
- Pay attention to your body. Physical signals of fatigue or illness can help you avoid future stressful situations.
2. Take care of your Vocal Cords daily.
Your vocal chords are very delicate and easily damaged.
- Warm up your voice by humming 10 to 15 minutes before speaking.
- Keep vocal cords moist by drinking 64 ounces of water a day.
- Avoid anything that will dry or irritate the vocal cords such as: Caffeine, antihistamines, smoking / smoky places, alcohol, constantly clearing your throat, shouting or screaming, talking over noise, or improper speech patterns.
3. Relieve the pressure on the vocal cords.
- Put the pressure on large stomach muscles not small throat muscles.
- Learn to breathe properly. This is the “work” area in speaking.
- Emphasize on the release of the air–not on how much air you can take in.
- Keep the voice focused straight out, not in the throat or nose area.
- Open up the back of the throat and enunciate. This naturally enhances volume, quality, and clarity.
4. Maintain a positive mental attitude
- Our voice reveals our states: emotional, physical, and mental.
- Relax, be prepared, and enjoy yourself.
Follow these 4 steps for a voice that is clearer, more resonant, more energized, and most important of all, a voice that can carry the power of your message.
For more information about the topic of this, or any article, please contact Marlena Reigh of Radiant Communications.
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