Coaches, trainers and teachers everywhere are most at risk from vocal problems and voice damage—which can even be serious enough to threaten their livelihood. So what can you do to take long-term care of your voice? Here are a few tips.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
So I’m in the park for an evening walk and I’m amazed at all the fitness bootcamps in full swing.
(I’m also feeling a certain degree of guilt, but that’s another story for another day…)
What strikes me is all the shouting those fitness gurus are doing, and I spare a thought for their strained, worn out vocal folds!
Fitness coaches of all kinds, from athletics to football to swimming to personal training, and of course teachers are amongst the highest professions that suffer from vocal loss.
They often need time off, or indeed have to leave their chosen profession entirely, as a result of vocal problems.
So, if you are using your voice loudly outdoors, you need to learn how do it correctly.
Here’s a quick check list…
1. Posture is Important
You need to understand about posture – Neutral, centred posture – particularly the “head neck relationship”. Check out the Alexander Technique for more.
2. Release Any Tension
You need to rid the body of unnecessary tension – Particularly in the shoulder, neck, jaw and abdominal areas. Unnecessary tension effects breathing, which immediately effects your voice.
3. Breathing Helps Support Your Voice
You need to learn how to breathe correctly to support your voice – Taking the focus away from upper chest breathing and instead focusing the breath deeper in the body is vital for s strong, clear (unforced) voice. You will need to practice breathing exercises to build up muscle memory.
4. Warming Up is Not Just for Your Arms or Leg Muscles
You need to spend time warming up the vocal muscles – They are like any other muscle in the body and require a warm up to function at their best. I have plenty of exercises to share
5. Learn to Support Your Voice to Prevent Vocal Problems
You need to learn to support your voice – Otherwise known as ‘projecting your voice safely’ this requires practical exercises which I will post shortly.
Now because cause I’m helping out with my own vocal fitness regime, I no longer have to feel guilty about not being part of the fitness bootcamp gang, right?
Ah, okay then… has anyone seen my jogging pants?
ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.
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ConfidentSpeak is a specialist S.T.E.M Communications & Coaching Consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives at home and abroad. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.