Top 10 tips on how to take care of your voice for speaking
Our voice is our most important and powerful communication tool. We have to use it daily, and we often do not even think about how it work…until it gives up on us. How do we take care of our voice, so that it performs its best, so that we can be listened to? How do we keep it healthy and powerful all the time?
Maintain adequate HYDRATION. Drink at least 2-3 litres of water daily, especially if you are a teacher, sportsperson, public speaker, or someone who talks a lot for a living. Caffeinated drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks are NOT substitutes for good old water!
2) VOICE USAGE :
Have adequate voice rest when required. If your voice is tired after a long day of talking, then do not strain yourself vocally after work. Meaning, reduce going to noisy restaurants, yelling at your kids or spouse, or excessively talking on the phone, or talking when driving. Talking when driving is quite taxing on the voice, as deceiving as it is!
3) REDUCE THROAT CLEARING
If you have the urge to clear your throat constantly, I would encourage you to sip on water, swallowing instead of coughing or throat clearing.
If the group you are presenting to is larger than 20-30 people, I would highly suggest using a microphone to project your voice. Refrain from speaking in open spaces, noisy environment if you can.
5) MEDICATION: Certain medication can dehydrate your voice, and cause it to lose its quality. Lozenges are notorious for drying out the larynx. Cold and flu tablets are also notorious, so watch out for them.
6) WARM UP : Just like how you would warm up for a marathon, you have to warm up for a day of speaking. It is essential, otherwise you will end up having very sore , fatigued voice.
7) NIL SMOKING/ ALCOHOL. Needless to say, ideally, do not drink alcohol or have a smoke before you present. It dehydrates your larynx. You want a healthy, hydrated rested larynx for speaking.
8) ADEQUATE SLEEP. I cannot stress how important this is to EVERYONE. If you are not well rested or have less than 6 hours of sleep, or broken sleep, your voice will show the effects of your lack of rest by croaking away
9) VOICE REST WHEN UNWELL: When you are unwell, or have had a cold/flu, refrain from talking too much. If you have to speak, because you are the presenter, then cut down the socializing during your break times. Restrict question times etc. Ensure you give your voice quiet time after your day of speaking.
10) SMART USE OF VOICE: What do I mean by this? Ensure you are standing or sitting in a good posture, your head and neck is free, and you are communicating freely. Do not constrict your vocal cords, do not yell to get your point across, and do not whisper as well!
I have demonstrated these and more tips on my youtube channel! Subscribe to my channel to get more voice updates!