We are hearing it more and more each day. We hear it with politicians, ministers, professional speakers, coaches, trainers, singers, aerobics instructors, and even the guy next door. It is called vocal abuse and it results from unnecessary wear and tear on the vocal folds (cords).
Notice I said unnecessary. Most who are suffering from vocal abuse could have avoided this serious problem if they were powering their voice properly in the first place. We all know of singers who have damaged their vocal folds and had to stop singing for a year. That is not uncommon. And the likelihood of it occurring increases with age.
When Julie Andrews – who was in her ‘60’s at the time – performed Victor/Victoria on stage, she did irreparable damage to your vocal folds. Had she been in her ‘30’s or ‘40’s, the same damage may not have occurred. Keep in mind, Andrews is a legitimate voice that was being produced correctly. But, the vocal folds age and hers were unable to take that amount of stress at that time in her life.
The problem I am witnessing is damage to the vocal folds by those who are using their voices heavily throughout the day. Your vocal folds are very delicate organs and very individual. Some people can yell or speak for great lengths of time and never do any damage. And then there are the rest of us.
I am hearing a lot of politicians, especially female, who are victims or potential victims of vocal abuse. There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton has damaged her voice and you can hear the difference. In her case, the damage has actually made her voice more pleasant. I doubt she will ever be able to yell again however and for that we should all be grateful.
On the ‘other side of the coin,’ both Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are on their way to doing permanent damage if they do not seek help soon. In all likelihood, it is only a matter of time. Were they to learn how to produce their sound properly, they could preserve their voices for years to come, as well as discover a richer warmer, resonant quality. In the process, they would be able to increase their volume without shouting which is called projection.
Don’t become a victim of vocal abuse. You have the ability to speak for greater lengths of time without damaging your throat and voice box. You also have the ability to increase your volume without shouting. If having a voice is important to you, discover the difference and end the abuse now.
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 website and discover The Power of Your Voice or watch Nancy as she describes in more detail The Truth About Vocal Abuse.