If you use your voice professionally, for example, as a singer, actor, teacher, lecturer, presenter, or a journalist, you should perfectly understand the needs of your speech organ. Below you will find some tips that will help you introduce healthy changes and habits into your life and will positively affect you voice.
Your body, your soul, your mind are one. They are like communicating vessels. Your voice should also be in perfect harmony with your body. Everything that concerns you, concerns also your voice. Remember that your entire body is an instrument, which is unique in its kind. What determines its uniqueness is the realm of your mind, the sphere of your spirit and your emotions. Be in harmony with your voice. Listen to your body, contemplate your thoughts, emotions, and analyze your experiences. This will provide you with the knowledge about how to take care of your voice and how to protect it. This contemplation will let you know the real potential of your speech instrument and unlock its real sound.
Each day allow yourself to relax. You can use one of many relaxation techniques, for example, practice yoga, tai chi, or martial arts. You might as well go for a walk, read, listen to music, meditate in silence, or dance. Even a few moments of relaxation can bring your voice unbelievable effects. Try to stop for a moment and focus your attention on your breath. Think about something pleasurable, about some delightful moments and experiences that happened to you. This detachment from reality will help you calm your thoughts, relax your muscles, make you feel at ease. This, in turn, will allow you to produce sounds with the lightness of a butterfly. Find a relaxation technique that works best for you and use it whenever your voice refuses to obey you. This will also help you deal with the stress, stage fright and all the negative emotions that have a negative effect on your voice.
Healthy body and mind are also linked with a better voice. Exercising regularly and being in shape helps your mind stay healthy. Physical activity is an excellent form of eliminating stress and physical tension. Through exercising you supply your body with strength, vitality, and appropriate dose of positive energy. Find a type of exercise that suits you best, do it regularly, and soon you will notice the differences in the level of your energy. Your voice will also start to sound more energetic.
To make most out of your speech organ, you need to learn about its structure first. You need to know a little bit of theory which will give you some knowledge about the functioning of your voice in different situations. Look for any information you can find about different speech and vocal techniques. Find some books for actors and singers, consult with experts, attend voice classes, courses and exercise regularly.
Here are simple steps you can take today to improve the quality of your voice:
Speak more slowly. The slower pace will help you produce calm, healthy and more accurate sounds.
When you speak or sing, try to open your mouth wider. This will help you avoid any tensions of the muscles responsible for the formation of sound.
Think about something pleasurable when you speak or sing. This will make your voice sound more gentle.
Regardless of what profession you use your voice for, remember to properly warm it up first. To avoid straining your voice, do some simple physical exercises, like squats or jumping. Relax your body and calm your mind. Take a few deep breaths. You can also yawn, stick out your tongue, make silly faces or snort like a horse. After you finish using your voice, it is also important to let it cool down. Do some voice exercises like you did before. Relax your articulation muscles and stretch your body.
Protect your voice against sudden temperature changes. It causes changes in your blood flow and makes your voice sound unnaturally. Try to maintain a constant temperature that is convenient for you and ventilate the room where you work as often as it is possible. If you work in a room with air conditioning on, drink more water to keep your mucous membranes hydrated. Avoid talking, singing, or shouting outdoors, especially at low temperatures or strong winds.
What you eat can also affect the quality of your voice. It is important to maintain a balanced and healthy diet that will have a positive impact on your body, as well as you speech organ. Poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits (except citrus) and herbal teas are recommended for a better sounding voice.
Drink lots of water. Water hydrates your whole body, which also positively affects your mucous membranes and vocal folds. How much water you should drink depends on your lifestyle and also on your health. If you suffer from any disease, especially kidney problems, you should consult your doctor first. Drink water, not only before using your voice, but also during and after your work. Remember not to drink water which is too cold.
Coffee, strong tea and alcohol are bad for your voice. You should drink no more that one cup of coffee a day. If you have to drink more, drink decaffeinated coffee instead. You should also limit to a minimum consumption of any other beverages containing caffeine. Avoid drinking strong black tea brewed for a long time as it may dehydrate your mucous membranes. Do not drink larger quantities of alcohol directly before or after using your voice. Alcohol dries up your mucous membranes, slows down your muscles and lowers your level of energy needed to produce good quality sounds.
Cigarette smoking is your throat’s greatest enemy. Smoking not only damages your overall health but also dries your vocal folds and bombards them with chemicals contained in cigarette smoke. This also applies to passive smoking. As a result your voice may sound flat and your breath may become shallow.