“Effort” is one of those words that we tend to link with trying harder isn’t it? However, it is often a case of “less is more, if things are done in a better way. Or to be more specific, find an appropriate effort for what you are doing. In my experience, this is definitely true of voice use.
The voice is one of your most powerful tools. It can be used to speak with others, sing, or coach someone through inner turmoil. The more skillfully you use it the better it will get at performing these tasks. A few simple changes in your day-to-day routine can help you maximize the power of your voice and reduce strain on it as well! Read on to find out how…
Get more out of your voice for less effort with these 5 top tips:
1. Warm up your voice every morning
Do this in a way that is appropriate to how you’re going to use your voice throughout the day. For example, there’s no point warming up your voice in a way that is suitable for online calls when you have to address a large room without a microphone, and vice versa.
2. Drink water when you wake up in the morning
This will rehydrate your body and vocal folds after sleep. Then drink more water a little and often through the day. Your vocal folds need to be plump and hydrated in order to work efficiently and avoid fatigue and damage. You should also steam your voice a couple of times a day by inhaling the steam from using hot water in a bowl. This is a much more direct form of hydration as the steam gets straight down onto your vocal folds.
3. Be aware of your vocal effort
This means paying attention to how much vocal effort you are using throughout the day for different tasks. If your voice is tired then it needs a bit of downtime. Even a five-minute break every hour could make all the difference to your stamina and ease of voice use. If you’ve never thought about your vocal effort before, just monitor a typical day and notice the times when your voice works more or less hard. Keep a note of this. Jot down anything that causes your voice to feel uncomfortable. Then work out ways to avoid speaking/singing too loudly or for too long.
4. Do some practice
this sounds like an obvious thing for performers, but it’s equally as important to those of you who are speaking on a day-to-day basis in your business. For example, practising how you will use your voice differently on a phone call as opposed to speaking to a client face-to-face could make a huge difference. This goes alongside monitoring your energy and vocal effort.
5. Take some vocal training to optimize effort
This will help you to learn the fundamentals of effective and healthy voice use. Just because you use your voice every day and it seems to work doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting the best out of it. Learning how to control your own vocal energy, use your breath and vocal folds efficiently together and exploit resonance can make it much easier to speak or sing.
In this post, I’ve given you 5 tips on how to get more out of your voice for less effort.
There is much more that could be said here. However, these should give you a good start. Add to them a good body alignment and a positive mindset to get even better results.
So, all it takes is a little bit of knowledge and some changes in habit to dramatically improve the sound quality of your speaking or singing voice! If you have any questions or would like some additional information about vocal training, please don’t hesitate to contact me here at Vocal Intuition. I’m always happy to help my clients find their unique voices!