During her run for President, Hillary Clinton spent more than a year and a half campaigning daily which resulted in permanent damage to her speaking voice. The stress she placed on her vocal folds (cords) has changed not only the quality of her voice but has left her unable to increase her volume well (which some might consider a blessing). Today, Hillary’s voice sounds hoarse.
Known as vocal abuse, damage to the vocal folds occurs in most situations because of excessive strain to those delicate organs. In some cases, the damage will be temporary; in many other cases, however, the damage that results permanently changes the overall quality of the voice. If you are experiencing vocal abuse, the pitch of your voice will drop and your ability to increase volume will be affected.
In Hillary’s case, the damage has actually made her voice less irritating. Often remarked upon by the media, her sound prior to this abuse was strident, harsh and most unpleasant for her listeners. Unfortunately for our Secretary of State, speaking for great lengths of time is now much more difficult and I am confident that she is losing her voice and experiencing more fatigue than normal.
Unless you are sick or taking certain prescriptive medications, vocal abuse will only occur for two reasons: misplacement of the voice and overuse. Those who work in noisy surroundings, for instance, and must speak loudly for great periods of time are ideal candidates for vocal abuse. Coaches, ministers, trainers, teachers, factory workers, public speakers and yes, even political candidates, are likely to experience some form of this abuse because many are straining to speak for great lengths of time or shouting when they increase their volume.
If you suffer vocal abuse and you are not sick, the only way end it is to learn to place your voice properly. By using your chest as your primary sounding board or amplifier, you will discover not only greater ease in speaking for longer periods of time, but also the ability to increase your volume without shouting.
Why Ms. Clinton was not taught these techniques before setting off on the campaign trail is beyond my understanding. Her voice was certainly not her best asset and she was often cited for ‘ranting and raving’ in her delivery. Voice training could have taken her a lot further in her run for the Presidential office because her sound would have been warmer and more tolerable to her listener’s ears. In addition, she would have learned to speak with color, with life, with emotion.
If chronic hoarseness, sore throats or even loss of voice is effecting you, it will not go away on its own. Take the strain away from your throat and vocal folds and allow your chest to do your talking. Having no voice is not an option for most people in either their professional or personal life!
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 Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!