Voice health

Not too long ago, I met a lovely looking lady and I wondered where she was from. When she started talking, her melodious tone kept my mouth agape. She is from Jamaica.

Have you noticed that when some people speak, they sound so harmonious that you do not want them to stop speaking? For educators like myself, you have all felt the exhaustion after a long day of teaching back-to-back lessons. 

The quality and ‘quantity’ of your voice as a communicator matters more than we may actually think. Confident, firm and audible voices inspire confidence and belief in what the speaker is uttering; the opposite is also true. Timid, harassed sounding voices may irritate instead of facilitate the cooperation of your listeners. The pitch, the modulation and pace, all contribute to generating sound that will send either a message of passionate interest to the listener or the attitude of, “what else can I do, I have to teach this lesson and get done with it.”

Unlike me, a number of people do not like how their voice sounds. If you are one of these, all is not lost for you. Just like learning a language with an accent, your voice can be trained to sound cultured and well regulated if you take the time to learn how to do so.

Among other effective strategies that you can do is keep your throat well-watered.  Professional story tellers have been known to sip water mixed with honey to keep their voices ‘sweet’ and healthy. Remember for every hour you speak, you lose about one cupful of water or even more depending on how you speak.

Interestingly, deep breathing can be one of the ways that enhance the quality and longevity of the voice.  Instead of breathing in using the chest area, the air and support is drawn right from the diaphragm which is in the stomach area. If the chest area and the throat are your only source of support, then you will end up with a raspy hoarse voice which may eventually have adverse effects on your vocal health— what will an educator be without a voice?

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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