The other day I heard a commercial with 2 motivational speakers and was appalled at how bad one of the voices sounded. Having not heard this particular man in several years, I was stunned by the amount of hoarseness with which he is afflicted. Considering that his voice is his meal-ticket, I cannot believe that he has not taken a course in voice improvement to fix the problem. The man I am referring to is Anthony Robbins.

Chronic hoarseness is the result of talking for extended periods of time and pushing the voice from the throat. And, this type of phonation (production of voiced sound) can lead to vocal abuse.

Vocal abuse is the overuse of the voice without proper support of the voice. It happens to singers, professional speakers, coaches, athletes, politicians, teachers, ministers and those who work in loud environments. What is fascinating about this type of abuse is that it is easily remedied if you use your chest cavity as your primary sounding board.

Those who are aware of this correct technique include James Earl Jones, Cher, Sean Connery, Julia Ormond, Kate Beckinsale, George Clooney and Peter Coyote. Unfortunately, Tony Robbins falls into the category with the majority of the population who do not know how to power their voice properly. And, because Mr. Robbins uses his voice excessively without good support, he is a prime candidate for vocal abuse.

If you are suffering from chronic hoarseness or persistent sore throats and you are not sick nor suffering from post nasal drip, you should consider learning how to use your chest to power your sound. Your first step will be to learn how to breathe with the support of your diaphragm; your second step will be to discover the optimum pitch of your speaking voice. (Pitch refers to the highness or lowness of sound – not the volume, which is the loudness or softness of sound.)

Just as the majority of the population does not understand good phonation, so, too, the majority of the population does not breathe properly. We are renowned for being lazy or shallow breathers which means that the voice we produce will be higher in pitch than it should be and will not display the warm, rich resonance that we find in the voices of the actors I mentioned earlier.

When you consider what a premium Robbins places on his voice, you would think that he would do something to stop the abuse. Luckily you don’t have to suffer the hoarseness that he is living with. Learn to breathe; find the optimum pitch of your voice; allow your chest to do your talking and your vocal abuse will be no more. It is that simple.

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