“The human voice is the organ of the soul.”
― Henry Longfellow
Do you like the sound of your speaking or singing voice? Lifestyle choices often impact the quality of your voice. Conversely, the tone of your voice may reflect certain lifestyle decisions. Below is a list of fifteen Don’ts when it comes to voice health, with excerpts from my book: “How to Improve the Sound of Your Speaking Voice”.
1. Avoid not drinking enough water – Chronic dry throat reduces voice quality and can lead to vocal damage.
2. Avoid drinking water that’s too hot – Which may burn and damage tissue on the roof of the mouth, as well as throat muscles.
3. Avoid drinking ice cold water – Especially prior to lengthy speaking functions. Ice cold liquid irritates and puts unnecessary strain on the throat, preventing it from functioning optimally.
4. Avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperature – Keep your body and your throat warm whenever possible.
5. Avoid high salt / high sugar foods – Foods with high salt content can irritate the throat. Foods with high sugar content (such as many desserts) can cause excessive mucus and interfere with proper speaking.
6. Avoid less than eight hours of sleep per day – Lack of sleep inhibits full vocal function, and may accelerate vocal fatigue and damage in cases of excessive use.
7. Avoid smoking / exposure to smoke – Inhalation of smoke irritates and can significantly damage the throat. If you’re a smoker and struggle with quitting, consult with a medical doctor for alternative options.
8. Avoid drinking milk – Avoid milk and milk products before an important speaking engagement, which may increase mucus, increase coughing, and reduce overall vocal clarity.
9. Avoid excessive alcohol – Heavy consumption of alcohol can progressively and irreparably damage the voice.
10. Avoid excessive spicy foods – Refrain prior to lengthy speaking engagements. Spicy foods can irritate and tire the voice, leading to dryness and hoarseness.
11. Avoid speaking nonstop for more than thirty minutes at a time – Take a five minute break after every thirty minutes. Stay hydrated while speaking.
12. Avoid yelling and shouting regularly – This, of course, can damage the voice.
13. Reduce conversations in noisy settings – Minimize having to use loud speech in noisy environments on a regular basis.
14. Avoid chronic stress and fatigue – Tired, weaker, and higher pitched voice are just some of the symptoms of on-going stress and fatigue.
15. Avoid regular and prolonged exposures to certain air qualities – Air qualities which may affect the voice include and are not limited to allergens, certain perfumes and other strong scents, car exhaust, chemicals and gasses, etc. If you’re regularly exposed to certain air qualities which you believe may be affecting your voice, try removing yourself from them for a few days, to see whether your voice feels and sounds better. In cases of possible allergens or pollutants, seek proper medical advice.
For more tips on how to improve your tone of voice, see my book (click on title): “How to Improve the Sound of Your Speaking Voice”.
© 2017 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.