Vocal Health for Speakers

Pradichaya Poonyarit's Vocal Health for Speakers

If you put your money where your mouth is, good vocal health is worth the value of gold!

Vocal Health for speakers: where to look for help, and who can help you when you experience vocal fatigue, vocal strain, or vocal stress. When your voice and its whole vocal mechanism is over-worked, first find help, then find a way to prevent it from happening again in the future.
This article addresses the issue, and is for everyone.


Video-article-Vocal Health for Speakers

This article is about vocal health. -Where to look for help, and who can help you when you experience vocal fatigue, vocal strain, or vocal stress. It addresses everyone.

Whether you are
speakers/lecturers, sales-marketers, internet-marketers, broadcasters, video podcasters, teachers, lawyers, cheerleaders, busy mothers, or the rest of the folks to whom speaking plays major part in their daily routine.

When your profession requires you to speak regularly, and you:

If you experience any of these symptoms, this is a must-read!
If you feel relatively healthy vocally, however, believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, please also read.

it means your vocal mechanism is strained. If you continue to speak this way in your profession on a daily basis, you are at risk of harming your vocal cords and the vocal mechanism, which may later lead on to other voice-related problems (such as those involving the esophagus, or even the stomach- think ulcers) of more or less serious degree. The voice needs to be addressed seriously.

One of the most harmful
things most speakers do is try to "save" their voices on their own, even though they may be unaware they are doing so. When tiredness persists, no matter how much force is put into trying to begin to speak, speakers with strained vocal muscles often fall into a pit of self-help therapy by taking the "pressure" off the injured area -in this case the vocal cords- thinking that if they leave the vocal cords alone long enough they will heal on their own, restoring their voice to health. While this may be the proper initial course in the instance of severe injury, speaking in this manner for a period of time can lead to problems of its own. Instead of speaking on the breath (which is the healthiest and most correct way to speak), these individuals end up speaking "off" the cords, or off the breath. Quite contrary to what they think, speaking off the vocal cords allows too much air to pass through the already strained tissues, and not only does this create a very breathy sound, it also makes it harder for the weakened cords to function properly. Externally, an airy, and -in some cases- nasal or chipmunk-like speaking sound is heard, but what really starts happening internally is the onset of a deeper problem.

If any of the aforementioned symptoms is what you experience- and it doesn't matter how much or how little of these symptoms have developed- it's time to seek help.
Who can help? When to seek help from these specialists?
a) An ear-nose-throat doctor a) A cure: When nothing you do on your own works, and you are at the point where you can barely use your voice, go see an ENT.
b) A voice therapist b) A protection: While an ENT takes care of the medical aspect of your throat functions, he may refer you to a vocal therapist who will guide you through how not to harm further your already injured vocal condition.
c) An experienced voice teacher (Although it would not be mandatory, it would help to know if such voice teacher came from a professional singing career- or from the educational career route.) c) Prevention, early detection, protection, and a maintenance-based approach to healthy vocal use: A good voice teacher is there to give you all of these. Most teachers believe in, and practice, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

The choice is yours to make. Please keep in mind that good vocal health is as important as any other physical health you have to maintain. You will be going to see a professional upon whom you will trust your vocal health (which could also be vital for your profession, if you rely on the voice for a living). Here are some tips that will help you choose:

ENT specialist: A cure
An ear-nose-throat specialist will ask for your physical symptoms and look into your throat with a scope while asking you to phonate certain vowels, such as "ahhh," and "eeee," to see how the cords react to phonation and to determine the problem. He also will look into your nasal passage and feel your throat (neck) for any unusual swelling and other abnormalities. It's important to understand that an ENT is a physician, and he will diagnose and find a way to fix the problem he sees. In other words, he fixes the problem that you come in with when you come to see him. If you have developed a more serious vocal issue by the time he sees you, he will determine the proper medical procedure to fix the problem. For example, if you are diagnosed with a vocal nodule, he will remove it. Following a proper rest period and, with a tiny scar, it will heal -although the voice will not revert back to complete health, though it will be functional. However, this doesn't mean that you can just go back to treating your voice in the same manner as before and return to the doctor to have nodule -or other vocal- surgery whenever the problem re-occurs. It's up to you to find out what caused the problem and, if it was not the result of pathology but related instead to how you treated your voice, make any necessary adjustments so that you will not end up in an ENT office again.
Voice teacher: Prevention
Taking voice lessons from a good voice teacher covers all needs, from prevention to early detection of vocal fatigue or strain, all the way through the healing procedure and vocal maintenance.


A good voice teacher can guide both singers and speakers to sing and speak at the best of their abilities. She will, also, help restore your vocal functions, and show you how to prevent harm and damages to the voice in the long run.

Next page: Vocal Health for speakers: A good voice teacher will help you find your healthy vocal habits. A few tips to what to look for in a voice teacher, and where to find her.
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Vocal therapist:

A protection


While your ENT is helping you on the medical side (if he feels that it's necessary), he may send you to a vocal or voice therapist, in the hope that the therapist will aid you in learning to speak properly in order to prevent future vocal injury. The vocal therapist will ask you to read and to phonate vowel and consonant sounds in order to determine how she can proceed with your therapy. Please keep in mind, that while the therapist is helping you, she is also aware of your vocal physical weakness or injury, and she will therefore try to minimize the use of the vocal cords and the surrounding tissues. Most often the approach is rather gentle and light tip-toe-y and will take the strain off the cords to allow them to rest for the time being. This is a temporary fix, however, and it does not help in terms of preventing you from mis-using your voice in the future. After you are healed, you need to learn the proper vocal exercise regime in order to use your voice correctly and to prevent you from harming your vocal mechanism in the future. A good voice teacher will be able to help guide you toward that goal.

Vocal Health for Speakers. Good vocal health is worth the value of gold!

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