Tips For Looking After Your Voice

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Gary Terzza voice-over masterclassDo you know how to properly look after your voice?

Guest blogger Gary Terzza provides some excellent tips on how to preserve your voice and reasons not to take it for granted.

Your Voice

We use it every day and yet the voice is one of the most neglected parts of our anatomy. Just think about how you use yours: chatting on the telephone, shouting at the kids, clearing your throat – the vocal cords endure a punishing schedule.
Of course if you use your voice professionally the demands are even greater; so how can you make sure you are giving this powerful, but delicate organ the care and attention it deserves?

Take Precautions To Protect Your Voice

Don™t misuse, or abuse the larynx. Never smoke and keep away from smoky atmospheres. Keep shouting to a minimum. If you have a cold that™s affecting the voice box, try and avoid talking. Dry dusty conditions, even air-conditioning, can dry out the voice significantly, so always take regular sips of water.

Try to reduce your caffeine intake as this can dry out the larynx and cause hoarseness. Equally watch your alcohol consumption as this not only has a physiological impact on your voice box, but reduces your inhibitions, making you more liable to raise your voice.

Are you a singer or voice professional? Take heed!

If you use your voice for singing, voice-overs or telephone sales make sure you do some warm up exercises. Gentle humming at a low level can help develop resonance, clear the airways and give those cords a soothing work-out, but be careful you don™t strain.
Large meals can alter the tonal quality of your voice (ask any singer, or voice-over artist) and this is especially true of spicy foods and dairy products.

For women, hormonal changes such as the menopause, pregnancy or menstruation can have a marked effect on the voice, as can stressful situations such as divorce or bereavement. The voice is the articulator of emotion, so tension or depression might show in your voice, sometimes in quite unexpected ways.

Worried About Your Vocal Health?

If you are ever worried about your voice, seek medical advice straight away.
Enjoy your voice and use it as a creative tool, or as an instrument to bring pleasure and fulfillment, but always treat it with great care and respect.

About Author
Gary Terzza is a professional voiceover and coach with a client list that includes Channel 4, Channel five, VH-1 and the BBC. He also runs a voice-over master class Association in Central London and Hertfordshire.

Any comments?

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Gary and Stephanie

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  • Lynn Yarbrough
    June 7, 2008, 1:38 pm

    I’ve heard that eating ‘gala’ apples helps the voice. Any comments?
    — Lynn Yarbrough

  • Chet Kelley
    June 7, 2008, 1:39 pm

    Thanks Gary and Stephanie,
    Very good advice we should all take to heart. Low humming over here right now. I can feel it work!
    Have a great weekend…
    Chet Kelley

  • Tom Conklin
    June 8, 2008, 10:00 am

    Hey folks,
    My full time gig, as I try to get to a point where I don’t need it anymore, is being a radio news anchor and reporter. I do news reports for five radio stations and I have to be very careful to keep as quiet as I can when I’m not working, because of the amount that I use my voice for VO and for radio. All the teas and other remedies are great, but to me the best way to take care of your voice is to NOT use it when you don’t have to. 🙂
    Tom Conklin

  • Kara Edwards
    June 8, 2008, 12:44 pm

    Great advice Gary- thanks!
    As someone who has always gone to great measures to protect my voice- I was shocked when I had a short run in with laryngitis recently. It was following an event where I was doing a ton of speaking, that also took place in a very old hotel. Despite my precautions, my allergy to dust did me in. A few days of absolute silence, and my voice came back just fine- but I decided to make an appointment with my ENT Dr. just in case 🙂 One can never be too careful when their voice is on the line!

  • Philip West
    November 2, 2010, 3:54 am

    I have really improved with this lessons and ready to learn more from you.

  • Mike Daly
    March 4, 2011, 6:05 pm

    Vocalzone do the trick for me and plenty of water before the gig to keep hydrated.