Be kind to your voice

Five Simple Hints

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is valentine-candy-626446_1920-jill-wellingtonn.jpgDid you ever stop to think that your voice and speaking success hinge on two little vocal cords?  If not, it’s time to think about this and how to be kind to your voice.

So here are five hints for treating your voice with loving kindness:

  • Don’t yell. Yelling strains your voice
  • Avoid whispering. Believe it or not, whispering can be hard on your voice.
  • Be aware of how you speak on the phone. Unless you support your voice with breath and energy, it can become tired and strained.
  • Drink lots of water. This helps hydrate your voice; room temperature, please
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before a speaking engagement. Even though you think alcohol may relax you and caffeine will energize you, these drinks tend to dry you out.

Lastly, be sure you’re using your breath.  Breath is food for your vocal cords.  It may sound funny, but many people actually hold their breath when speaking.  That’s why you hear a croaking or rough sound, that’s why your voice gets strained and tired.

So, love your voice, and let those cords chime!

Five Simple Exercises for Better Breathing

Deep breathing and the ability to use your breath efficiently are essential for good public speaking.  Breathing helps calm jittery nerves and helps with your vocal projection as well as sound quality.

Here are five easy exercises to get you started.

  1. Stand with your feet facing forward, at hip’s width. In slow motion yawn and take a good stretch.
  2. Take a deep, relaxed breath. Try to feel that you’re inhaling into your feet.  Let the breath out slowly.  Repeat five times, breathing in and out in a slow, relaxed manner
  3. Sit in a chair and feel that your breath is actually going down to the seat of your chair. Breathe out slowly and relaxed.  Repeat five times.
  4. Still seated, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.
  5. Lie on your back and become aware of how your breathing feels. It’s often easier to breathe deeply when on your back.