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Vocalizing With Ease
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Vocal Hygiene

Vocal Hygiene: How to Get the Best Mileage from Your Voice

Don't Abuse Your Voice: Do:
Don't clear your throat or cough habitually - Sip some water, swallowing slowly.
- Yawn to relax your throat.
- Hum: concentrate on resonance sensations.
Don't yell, cheer or scream habitually. - Use non-vocal sounds or visual cues to attract attention.
- Find non-vocal ways to discipline children.
Avoid prolonged talking over long distances and outdoors. - Move closer, so you can be heard without yelling, or use a vocal amplification system.
- Learn good vocal projection techniques.
Avoid talking in noisy situations: over loud music, office equipment, noisy classrooms, in cars, buses, airplanes, etc. - Reduce background noise when you speak.
- Always face persons you are speaking with.
- Position yourself close to your listeners.
- Wait until students/audiences are quiet.
- Find non-vocal ways to elicit attention.
Don't try to address large audiences without proper vocal amplification. You should be able to lecture at a comfortable loudness. - Use a high-quality vocal amplification system for public speaking.
- Learn good microphone technique.
Don't sing or vocalize beyond your comfortable range. - Respect your vocal limits.
- Seek professional voice training.
- Always use an adequate acoustic monitor during vocal performances.
- Never sing high notes you can't sing quietly.
Avoid vocally-abusive nervous habits during public speaking: throat-clearing, breath-holding, speaking quickly, speaking on insufficient breath, speaking on a low and monotone pitch, aggressive or low-pitched fillers ("um..."; "ah...") - Monitor and reduce vocal habits that detract from your presentation.
- Learn strategies for effective public speaking.
- Prepare your presentation well so you can relax and attend to good vocal production.
Don't speak extensively during strenuous physical exercise. - Avoid aggressive vocal "grunts" while lifting weights, or during martial arts.
- After aerobic exercise, wait until your breathing system can accommodate relaxed voice production.


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