In the following post, the guest writer, Dr. Arti Vadi explores why it is important for an individual in any field of work to preserve their voice quality. She lends her expert advice on simple tips one can follow to make sure one can leave a lasting impression of his voice and thus impression on people one meets in his daily course of life.
The voice of a person lends character and identification to the individual. A good body language is incomplete without a powerful and impressive voice presentation. The voice of a person leaves a lasting impression in our mind that helps us identify the person when even not talking to them face to face.
A good voice and speech is the result of precise and coordinated action of multiple interacting body systems. The respiration and lung capacity, muscle tone and agility, body alignment, personality and stress levels all play an important role in voice production in addition to phonation, resonance, projection and articulation.
A good and likable voice depends on the use of the correct pitch while speaking. While this differs for males and females significantly, within this categorization, the average pitch remains the same. Therefore we like to listen to lower pitch for males and a higher pitch for females. A minor variation in this pitch range may not be discernible, but a major change is easily recognized by anyone. This is why a common cold resulting in a low pitched voice sometimes makes a person’s voice unrecognizable over phone.On the other hand attempting to speak in a pitch range not natural to one’s own may result in damaging one’s voice.
A good speech relies heavily on good articulation and resonance. Opening the mouth too little while speaking results in a subdued voice with poor voice projection. This means only those in the near vicinity can make out what the person is speaking. Too less movements of the upper lip while speaking makes the speech unclear. Excessive head movements and neck turning while speaking leads to a restricted voice.
Slouching while speaking and shallow chest breathing or neck breathing gives a poor breath support and makes way for voice disorders over a prolonged period. Stress makes one speak too fast or too softly, often making a person’s speech incomprehensible or inaudible to others. Personality plays a major role in determining the speech of person. A calm person will usually have a soft speech while a vivacious person had a loud speech often accompanied by hand gestures while speaking.
PROFESSIONAL VOICE USERS: These are a group of people with totally different voice requirements. Mostly including teachers, lawyers, preachers and the like, their profession requires them to speak for longer periods of time and to a much larger audience. These people need to care for their voice and general health to minimize the effect of prolonged speaking on their vocal cords.
All too often, we take our voice for granted and realize the importance of it only when we face voice problems. However, caring for voice is easy. Follow a basic voice hygiene routine and have a good and healthy voice. These practices include:
- Frequent pauses during speaking and use of intonations
- Frequent sips of water while speaking
- Avoid speaking too fast
- Avoid speaking in the presence of background noise
- Avoid spicy food at night
- Regularize your food habits and avoid frequent late night meals
- Improve your breath support
Summing up, it is important to realize how much our voice affects our personality and the kind of image we leave in the listener’s mind. A few simple habits can ensure that you leave a lasting impression on your audience.
Dr. Arti Vadi
The writer is an ENT surgeon by profession, specializing in laryngology i.e. voice disorders. . She performs specialized surgeries to correct, restore and improve voice. She is currently practising at Sterling Hospital in Rajkot, Gujarat.
She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 09512505845 for professional advice.