There is no doubt about it. Constant clearing of the throat is annoying for both you, the speaker, and your audience. So how do you solve this problem?
As a voice coach, I teach my clients to produce their sound in a way that requires less wear and tear on the voice box (larynx) and throat (pharynx). In doing so, they find that any discomfort they may have been experiencing in the past, as well as the need to constantly clear their throat, is eliminated, once and for all.
What you may not realize is that you have a 5th resonator responsible for the production of voiced sound. That resonator is the largest of the five resonators and is your chest cavity. If you are like most people, you are relying on your other 4 resonators – the throat, voice box, mouth and nasal cavities – to power and amplify your sound.
When you begin to study what is really happening, you will find that, while the mouth and nose certainly help in this production, the real work is being accomplished by the voice box and throat. However, it is being accomplished at a price.
A lot of my clients and customers complain of sore throats and chronic hoarseness, especially as they get older. Because the voice box and throat are taking such abuse on a daily basis, there is a lot more irritation to those areas which often results in the need to clear the throat while speaking.
Imagine the size of the cavities of your larynx, pharynx, mouth, and nasal passages. Now imagine the size and capacity of your chest. Can you appreciate that by using that large cavity of your chest as your primary sounding board, you will be decreasing the stress on your throat and voice box because you will be lessening the wear and tear on them? That means less throat clearing. Because I power my voice in this manner, I find my mouth and throat do not become dry and I never need to drink during a presentation – whether it is 50 minutes or 2-1/2 hours.
Of course, others will tell you to drink plenty of fluids, swallow hard, or whatever. I am telling you to learn to breathe and use your chest to power your sound. Not only will it relieve your throat but you will discover a richer, warmer, deeper voice that you can project without shouting. It’s pretty much a win-win situation any way you look at it.
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 Nancy's Voice Training site at Voice Dynamic and discover The Power of Your Voice or watch as she describes in more detail The Truth About Vocal Abuse.