We use our voices every day, all day—at work, with family and friends, to share our ideas, emotions and feelings. We rely on our voices to communicate and connect with everyone around us, but how often do we show our voices how much we love and appreciate all they do? Today is World Voice Day, which encourages men and women of all ages to access their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good voice habits.
Every year since its inception in 2002, professional speaking instructors and voice health professionals join together to recognize the importance of vocal health and celebrate the power of the voice. The theme for World Voice Day 2010, “Love Your Voice,” reminds people of the value and significance of vocal health in everyday life.
We loved these Top Ten list of ways to love your voice from the American Academy of Otolaryngology ( Health Care professionals who specialize in the health of voices ). So read on, get inspired, and show your voice some love today.
1. Embrace hydration—Moisture is good for your voice, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated.
2. Kiss but don’t yell—Yelling or screaming is always bad for the voice, as it puts a lot of stress on the delicate lining of your vocal cords.
3. Hug a microphone when speaking in public—When you are called upon for public speaking, particularly in a large room or outdoors, use a microphone. The amplification allows you to speak at conversational volume, yet reach the entire audience.
4. Warm up your voice by saying a few sweet nothings—Warming up the voice is not just for singers; it helps the speaking voice, too. Doing simple things like lip or tongue trills, or gliding up and down your range on different vowels will help warm up your voice.
5. Always clear the air, but don‘t clear your throat—Clearing your throat is like slapping or slamming the vocal cords together. Instead of clearing your throat, take a small sip of water or swallow to quench the urge.
6. Go ahead and look hot, but never smoke—Likely the single worst thing you can do for your voice is to smoke. It causes permanent damage to the vocal cord tissues and is the number 1 risk factor for cancer of the larynx (voice box).
7. Know what you‘re feeling—When you are in a place with loud background noise, you don‘t realize how loudly you may be talking. Pay attention to how your throat feels in these situations, because it will often feel raw or irritated before you notice the vocal strain you are causing.
8. Think good breath support, not just heavy breathing—Breath flow is the power source for voice. Don‘t let your breath support run down before refilling your lungs and refueling your voice.
9. Be a good listener—If you hear your voice becoming hoarse when you are sick, be sure to rest it as much as possible. Pushing the voice when you have laryngitis can lead to more serious vocal problems.
10. Check it out—If your voice is persistently hoarse, be sure to seek evaluation by an otolaryngologist.