I hear from many people about their chronic hoarseness, a persistent sore throat, or even loss of voice by the end of the day. This is called vocal abuse and until you change how you produce voiced sound, you will not stop this abuse. |
Most people are using only 4 of their 5 resonators to speak: the voice box, throat, mouth and nasal cavities with most of the work being accomplished by the throat and vocal cords. The 5th resonator is your chest cavity and is responsible for a deeper, richer, warmer sound. It is also the only means of increasing your volume without shouting. If your chest is not involved in your volume increase, then the result is yelling or shouting.
A few months ago, I had two conversations - both in the same day - with two men who are in their 20's and both of whom have found their 'real' voice. (Your real voice is sound powered by means of your chest cavity and not just your throat and voice box.) Both started with voices that sounded too young and did not lend credibility to their jobs. Both ended with voices that are deeper and more mature in quality. I am talking about truly marvelous instruments in both cases.
There is a difference, however, between the two men aside from the fact that they live on opposite sides of the country. The Californian is often experiencing a sore throat by the end of the day. The Jersey guy is having no problem whatsoever.
So why is one suffering from vocal abuse if he is doing it properly and the other is not? Our man from California is trying too hard and obsessing about it in the process. Even with training, if you overuse your voice on a continual basis, it is possible to experience hoarseness or a sore throat. Poor diet, lack of sleep, and even certain antihistamines can also affect the heath of the voice. Bear in mind your vocal cords are a most delicate organ.
As much as I want my clients to use their ‘real’ voice whenever they open their mouth to speak, I don’t want them setting aside additional time to practice every day. For most people, the amount of speech which occurs during their day, whether at work, at home, or in a social situation, provides enough opportunity to make the change a habit within a relatively short time. (By the way, a social situation does not mean sitting in a loud club for 3 or 4 hours a night and trying to be heard in a situation that deserves little or no speech!)
I recently heard from the young man in California who told me that he is no longer experiencing a sore throat. His remedy? He stopped obsessing about his voice and just let it be.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Nancy's Voice Training site at Voice Dynamic and watch as she describes in more detail The Truth About Vocal Abuse.
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