Friday, August 22, 2008

Speech Training: Don't Drink & Speak - Top 7 things to avoid to preserve your voice

Since it's Friday and we're all getting ready to go out and celebrate the weekend, let's take a look at the Top 7 things you should avoid if you want to preserve your voice and sound like a star speaker.

1. Alcohol
Yep, there goes your weekend! Sorry, but alcohol dries out your vocal cords (along with dehydrating the rest of your body). Plus there are tons of other reasons why you shouldn't drink and speak!

2. Cigarettes
Not so many people are smoking anymore, but if you're one of the few who are, I'm not going to lecture you. Your voice is the last thing you should be worried about.

3. Dairy products
Dairy products are a huge cause of increased phlegm. Try cutting down on dairy if you feel like your throat is coated and clogged.

4. Hot or cold drinks
Very hot drinks like coffee and tea or cold ones like your glass of ice water or 64-ounce coke are going to irritate your vocal cords as the extreme temperatures change the size of neighboring tissues in your throat.

5. Caffeine
Not only should you not drink alcohol, you also shouldn't drink coffee to get over its effects the morning after. Caffeine is dehydrating, and when you lose water from your system, all that phlegm in your throat becomes more concentrated making it harder to speak well.

6. Citrus fruits
Citrus is like dairy in that it produces a lot of phlegm. And you always thought that having lemon in your tea was a good thing! It might be for some reasons, but your voice isn't one of them.

7. Talking excessively
This is usually the hardest one for speakers. Why? Because we like to talk! But it's pretty simple: the less you use your voice, the better it will sound for your speech. Screaming and yelling and singing along to every song at the Black Eyed Peas concert (yes, guilty!) is not going to help either.

It would be crazy to avoid all of these things all the time, but think about them before you have a big, important speech to deliver. It helps to have a nice, strong voice!

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