Some of my clients talk very softly and they told me it's because they don't want to use their voice too much, with the concern of damaging their throat and experiencing hoarseness.

Do you have the same concern?

If you are a trainer, speaker, teacher, or other professionals that need to talk for long hours, you can't talk too softly because it not only projects an image of being unsure, uncertain, or unconfident, but also your listeners have to strain their ears to hear you and sooner or later they'll give up and turn off.

You don't want that to happen, but you also don't want to suffer from hoarseness. You wish there was a way that could help you speak for as long hours as you want without hurting your voice. Sounds too good to be true?

Freeing from hoarseness is not only possible but achievable. You need to understand that our sound should not just come from our throat. If you only use your vocal folds (aka vocal cords) to do all the work, you are sure to damage them and experience discomfort. A clear and audible voice is resulted from resonation and supported with enough air. Your vocal folds create the initial buzz when air moves through them. It is the resonation in your resonators that enlarge and enrich your sound. The five resonators in your body are your mouth, your nose, your throat, your voice box and your chest. If you could activate all your resonators and breathe properly, you won't suffer from hoarseness or vocal fatigue.

Here are some exercises to get you started.

1. Relaxation
Tension is the enemy of a quality voice. Make sure your posture is proper for your sound production. Whether you are standing or sitting at this moment, stand or sit tall, chest out, head back, and chin parallel with the floor. Relax all your muscles: your eyebrow, your eyes, your lips, and especially your jaw. Loosen up your jaw by opening your mouth widely several times. Now you are ready for the breathing exercise.

2. Breathing
Practice breathing with the support of your diaphragm. This will give you enough air to support your voice and make you sound strong. That's why babies can cry for hours and hours and still be loud and clear. Babies are natural diaphragmatic breathers.

To practice deep breathing, empty all your air as if the front of your stomach and your backbone are closing like an accordion. Take in a breath and allow the air to go in freely all the way down. Feel your stomach area is like a balloon to be filled up. Hold the breath for a count of five and then exhale SLOWLY. Do another two rounds on your own.

3. Warm up Your Voice
Your voice is just like all the other parts of your body. It needs to be awakened before any talking. You can practice humming or make the sound of a siren with different pitches. Tongue twisters are also good warm-up exercises.

Lastly, always keep a bottle of water handy. Your vocal folds need to be moisturized all the time.

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia is a voice and speech coach and trainer, based in Singapore. She helps you discover your inner true voice that is authentic and confident. She also helps organizations on voice and presentation skills training.
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