September 3 2021
Five useful tips for those who work with their voice
Lawyers, call center workers, sales representatives, coaches, consultants and many more professions all depend on working with voice. To make sure your voice will serve you long and well, a number of preventative measures are required. Do you work by talking to people or speaking in public? See if you can look after your voice!
How to take care of your voice?
Get into the habit of hydrating your body regularly. It is best to drink about 8 glasses of beverages that do not contain caffeine (so tea, coffee or mate don’t count) or alcohol (as it dehydrates and irritates the mucous membrane lining your throat.) It is also important that those beverages contain as little sugar as possible. Sip still mineral water at room temperature while speaking. Ice-cold water cools you nicely on hot days, however it is a serious threat to your voice. The same applies for spicy foods, as they can cause overproduction of gastric acid, which in turn leads to heartburn or acid reflux.
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Speech apparatus health and safety
Even if it is in your nature (and your audience don’t mind), do not raise your voice for no reason. Shouting has similar effects on your voice to those that an intensive cardio workout without a warm-up has on your body. Respect your vocal cords as well as your coworkers’ ears. Never force your voice during an infection of the upper respiratory tract – this can lead to loosing your voice and a lengthy treatment. Likewise smoking, also secondhand smoking. It may seem obvious, but apart from long term health issues, tobacco smoke damages the entire speech apparatus, and any person that uses voice at work should just forget about smoking altogether.
Interestingly, proper breathing also helps getting good habits on board. You should practice diaphragmatic breathing – when your ribs and diaphragm rise and drop freely. To ensure a proper posture and breathing manner, which are essential for speaking correctly, you should just work out regularly. It is also good to remember to take breaks after straining your voice and to avoid speaking (especially speaking loudly) when it is cold.
What else can help with working with your voice?
At the beginning of each day, try to loosen up your neck, shoulders and torso by doing a couple of simple exercises. You will improve your posture and get rid of some stress at the same time.
– It is also a good idea to do a couple of facial muscle exercises. These may be as simple as making faces in front of a mirror, such as “duck face”, puffing your cheeks or saying vowel sounds overly clearly, while your jaw moves freely. It looks a little funny, but brings the desired results quickly. It is important (especially during the colder months) to warm up the muscles of your lips and cheeks before work, as they are responsible for proper articulation. Mumbling can be seen by your interlocutors as lack of involvement in the conversation or a sign of low self-confidence, which in turn adversely affects the effectiveness of persuasion – says Artur Ragan, a lector with 20 years of experience.
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Ensure the most beneficial microclimate possible in the room where you work with your voice. Optimal air parameters are roughly 30 percent humidity and a temperature no higher than 21 degrees Celsius. Avoid dusty rooms and neglected air conditioners at any cost.If you work in an airconditioned office and you have the chance to catch a breath of fresh air during the day, make sure to take such opportunity every time.
By following the basic rules of working with your voice, you can keep it in good health for many years – even better, it will get clearer and achieve a nicer timbre, making your business talks even more effective.
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