10 Vocal Life Preservers for Summer

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on July 2, 2013

Boy on float in poolSummer can be a difficult time with the heat and humidity.  You can sound parched and look wilted on camera.  If you want to sound great and look polished,  try these tips.  I’ve provided some links to some of my other blog posts if you want to read more, but here’s a list for a quick reminder:

1. Keep your vocal tract moist by drinking half your body weight in ounces of decaffeinated, nonalcoholic fluid a day (for more on fluid intake check out this post).

2.  If you have allergies or get a summer cold, limit throat clearing and coughing.  Did you read this post on the dangers of coughing?

3.  Do not talk loudly or yell in noisy environments such as outdoor sporting events or clubs.

4. Use a pitch that is comfortable and does not cause vocal fatigue.  If you get hoarse after a day of voicing, you may be using an unnatural pitch. (Check out this blog post to learn more about pitch.)  See a physician if hoarseness, pain, or odd sensations in the throat last for more than two weeks.  Take hoarseness seriously.

5.  Get at least seven hours of sleep each night.  That’s the minimum that doctor’s recommend.  Go for more when you can.

6.  Ramp up your protein intake for better overall energy and great vocal energy.  This blog post explains why and how.

7. Avoid milk products two hours before on-air work because they may cause more mucous in your throat.

8.  Keep up an exercise program, but if you’re exercising outside and it’s hot, do it early in the morning or late in the evening.  Why exercise?  Check this out.

9.  Practice abdominal-diaphragmatic breathing to decrease tension in the laryngeal area. (Check my video or my book, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK, if you’re unclear on what this type of breathing is like.)

10.  And the most important tip of all:  Don’t smoke or expose yourself to the smoke of others.  Watch this video if you’re a smoker.  It might help you quit!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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