One of the greatest challenges for those whose careers involve public speaking is vocal abuse. We see it with many who make a living by addressing an audience – from political candidates like Hillary Clinton to world-renowned motivational speakers like Anthony Robbins. Other career choices that involve heavy use of the voice include aerobics instructors, coaches, teachers, ministers, business trainers, and even stay-at-home moms who may be inclined to yell a lot throughout their day. |
The problem with vocal abuse is that unless you change the placement of your voice, it will continue. Chronic hoarseness, persistent sore throats and loss of voice are the common symptoms of this type of abuse. While all three symptoms can be caused by allergies, a cold, or certain prescriptive medicines, it would be wise to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist if you have any doubts.
So what do I mean by changing your voice placement? Most people use four of their five resonators to speak. Unfortunately, of those four resonators, two are usually doing most of the work. While the nose and the mouth cavities play a large role in your speech, it is the throat and voice box that are taxed the heaviest. The resonator missing in this picture is the chest. That cavity is larger than all of your other resonators combined. Once you include your chest in the process of talking, however, you will find the pressure on your throat and voice box immediately relieved.
Your vocal cords are a most delicate organ. Without a doubt, plenty of sleep and a nutritious diet are vital to the health of those cords. However, if you are pushing your voice from that area, the best diet and sleep will do nothing to alleviate or stop the abuse. Only when you use your chest cavity as your primary sounding board will the abuse stop.
Not only will the abuse be gone, but you will discover a better voice as well. James Earl Jones, Kathleen Turner, Felicia Rashad, Julia Ormond, George Clooney, and Sean Connery have it – a richer, warmer, deeper sound. All of these voices are being produced correctly.
In addition to sounding more mature, you will also be able to increase your volume without shouting. This is only possible, however, if you are using your chest cavity to power your voice.
Vocal abuse is something you cannot ignore because it will not only continue but it will probably get worse. If you depend on your voice for your income, whether you are a professional speaker, a politician, a coach or a college professor, you must make the change. A little training can go a long way in the preservation of your voice.
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 Website and watch as she describes in more detail The Truth About Vocal Abuse.
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