One of the dangers of a long, intense election campaigns is ‘Election voice loss’; or a tired, damaged voice that squeaks. Given that politicians speak constantly during campaigns (don’t we know it), unless they look after their voices, there is a risk of Election voice loss.
Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, suffered from Election voice loss over the weekend, and her TV appearances were, well, squeaky. I have no doubt this was caused by over use of the voice and mis-use of the voice.
Other professions have the challenge of constant use of their voices: teachers, trainers, telesales people, and it is an occupational hazard that you have vocal fatigue at some point, unless you look after your voice. Sadly microphones don’t prevent this, as if your voice is tired and/or you aren’t using the voice properly in the first place, amplifying the sound of your voice isn’t going to help.
So here are my top tips to managing your voice and trying to avoid losing or straining your voice, when you have to use it regularly.
- Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. If you are dehydrated in any way, one of the side effects is that your voice could get ‘husky’.
- Pace yourself. If you have a marathon schedule of speaking/meeting people/smoozing/media appearances, ensure you have time to rest between each appearance. Save your energy and voice – remember these need to be used all day.
- Be aware of your posture. If you have tension in your body it is going to result in your larynx (voice box) becoming tense and not ‘working’ properly. Ensure you sit and stand in a relaxed way and get rid of that tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Eat effectively. There is plenty of food that slowly releases energy. Other food, like bananas, are perfect for healthy boosts through out the day. Avoid snacks and sugar rushes like chocolate as a pick me up. But good carbs like wholemeal bread, porridge etc are perfect!
- Get a good night’s sleep before and after every busy day.
I quite understand that when you are canvassing for the election, you are wanting to win and want to put the work and effort in. Sadly, speaking too much and exhausting yourself can result in Election voice loss. But be aware of the danger signs!
If you want more information on how to use the voice effectively and healthily. Why not purchase our Make and Impact with our voice downloadable audio training course OR the Voice training for teachers and trainers Both audio courses are packed with exercises and techniques to manage your vocal health.