Are you experiencing chronic hoarseness or a persistent sore throat and you are not sick? If so, it is called vocal abuse and it will not go away on its own. In fact, it will more than likely get worse. There are some who suffer with these symptoms to the point that they even lose their voice by the end of the day.
Vocal abuse is caused by misplacement of your voice. While that may sound strange, what is happening is that you are placing too much wear and tear on your vocal folds (cords). You may be working in a loud environment in which you must constantly increase your volume to be heard. You may be teaching (which could also mean an increase in volume if you have a particularly unruly group of children!). You might be a trainer, a minister, a political figure or an actor. Are you regularly attending sporting events in which you are shouting in support of your team? Or is it possible that you spend a lot of time yelling at your children?
Whatever the scenario, whatever the reason for your pain, your priority should be to lessen the amount of stress you are placing on your delicate vocal folds and allow your largest resonator to do more of the work in speaking. What this means is learning how to place your voice properly. That is the only way the abuse can be stopped, will be stopped, and will not return.
Most people are not using their chest, the largest of their resonators, to aid in the production of voiced sound. [Incidentally, if you are not using your chest as your primary sounding board, then the sound of your speaking voice is probably higher in pitch than it should be. In addition, your voice will lack warmth, richness, depth and resonance because it is unable to vibrate in your chest cavity. James Earl Jones and Diane Sawyer are fully aware of that difference because when they speak, their voices are very warm, a quality only possible if the chest is involved in the process!]
What you will discover when you start using your chest to speak is an immediate reduction in the pain or the hoarseness in your throat. In addition, you will be able to increase your volume without shouting. This technique is called projection and is only possible if you are speaking from your chest. Anything else is called yelling. Remember the phrase, screaming at the top of your lungs? That is exactly what is happening when you don’t use your chest to properly increase your volume.
Had enough of the hoarseness, sore throats, or loss of voice? When you let your chest do your talking, you will feel the difference, you will hear the difference, and you will know the difference. End your vocal abuse today because it will only get worse tomorrow.
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. To see how voice training can improve your life, both professionally and personally, visit Voice Dynamic or watch a brief video as The Voice Lady describes The 5 Characteristics of Dynamic Public Speaking.
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