Have you ever noticed that your throat is sore after rooting for your favorite team? Perhaps you teach and find your throat raw after trying to keep order in the class. Maybe you are a trainer, a coach, a politician, a public speaker, or a minister and you are experiencing chronic hoarseness
Recently I had a Skype session with Mac. He had successfully found his optimum range, sounds fantastic, and was able to maintain his conversation with me using his ‘real’ voice. Mac was still having difficulty though. He teaches 9th graders and was finding his voice tired by the end of the day.
Yes, teaching is hard on the throat and voice box; however, if handled properly, the voice can last all day. When I pushed him a little further on what was happening, he explained that he often had to raise his voice in order to keep the class in order. The words he used that immediately caught my attention were, “I notice that when I am excited, I have more voice problems. Is that normal?”
For most people, this is common. For those who have had training, however, it is not.
When you learn how to increase your volume by means of projection, you take the pressure off the throat and vocal folds (cords) because your chest cavity is doing more of the work. What was happening with Mac was that, in his excitement to keep the class in line, he was forgetting to use his chest as his major amplifier. And, what he was experiencing is vocal abuse which is soreness, hoarseness, or even loss of voice by the end of the day.
Mac’s job now is to practice projecting his voice during the summer months when he is not teaching and make it a habit. Then, when he returns to class in September, he will be more prepared for those moments that take more volume.
While yelling takes no thought, projection does. In raising my sons, I never yelled at them; I projected. Kids listen to a projected voice but they won’t pay attention if you yell at them. In addition, when you can project your voice, you will find that you are able to stay in control of the situation. When you shout or yell, you’ve lost it.
Not only does projection save your throat and voice box but it is much easier on your listeners’ ears, especially with voices that are higher in pitch. My advice is to learn how to project your voice so that you can stop shouting or yelling. It’s a win-win situation all the way around.