We've all heard a plethora of tips on giving great presentations, take your time breathe, rehearse but how much do we know about maintaining the health or one of our most important assetts.
We rely on our voice to inform, persuade, and connect with other people.
Our voice is as unique as our fingerprint. Many people you know use their voices all day long, day in and day out. Singers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, sales people, and public speakers are among those who make great demands on their voices.
Unfortunately, these individuals are most prone to experiencing voice problems. It is believed that 7.5 million people have diseases or disorders of voice. Some of these disorders can be avoided by taking care of your voice.
We spoke to Michael Corbidge, Senior Voice coach for the Royal Shakespeare Company who has coached Royalty, Politicians, Senior Business people and yes Hollywood actors such as Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench.
He gave us the following 5 health tips for looking after your voice and preparing for a presentation.
The vocal folds need to be lubricated with a thin layer of mucus in order to vibrate efficiently. The best lubrication can be achieved by drinking plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least two quarts of water daily
2. Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol pull water out of your system and deplete the vocal folds of needed lubrication. Caffeinated drinks include coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Small amounts of these beverages are acceptable but must be counterbalanced by drinking more water
3. Dy Air
Another factor that can affect lubrication is a dry air environment. The cause can be from gas furnaces, air conditioners, and climates with a low amount of moisture in the air. Using a humidifier at night can compensate for the dryness.
The air in airplanes is extremely dry. It is recommended that you avoid alcoholic, caffeinated beverages and drink at least 8 ounces of water per hour while flying.
4. Throat Clearing & Harsh Coughing
Throat clearing and harsh coughing are traumatic to the vocal cords and should be reduced as much as possible. One of the most frequent causes for throat clearing and coughing is thick mucus (due to dry vocal folds) or too much mucus (as with a cold) on or below the vocal folds. The safest and most efficient way to clear mucus is by using a gentle, breathy productive cough where there is high airflow with little sound. This can be achieved by using the following strategy: take in as deep a breath as possible, momentarily hold your breath, and produce a sharp, silent “H” sound while you expel the air.
5. Self-Destructive Behaviors
Yes you know it! Avoid smoking cigarettes. You know they are bad for the heart, lungs but also for your vocal tract. Also, avoid other irritant inhalant substances and mind-altering drugs. Tobacco and marijuana are irritants to the vocal tract. When you sing or speak you must be in control of all body systems: physical, spiritual, and mental. Smoking is disastrous for the speaking and singing voice.
If you're interested in finding out more or working with Michael, please get in touch. He delivers first class team and one to one sessions to help you make the most of your most important asset.