Your voice is one your most important business assets. Simple. So how would you feel if one day you woke up and your voice wasn't playing ball?
As a Speech & Language Therapist I often work with CEOs, VPs, Directors and, actually, every single member of an organisation to help them repair their voice and enable them to get back to work. Loss of voice is very common in professions that expect a lot of talking (eg teachers and sales) however it can strike others down too.
A couple of top tips for looking after your most important asset:
– Limit your intake of alcohol (!) and caffeine where you can.
– Turn off the air conditioning and open a window where possible.
– If you feel like you're losing your voice DO NOT WHISPER as this can further damage your vocal chords and lead to a much longer recovery period.
– Change your breathing. Okay that sounds a little stupid but bear with me. What do you need to speak (oh and to live too)….oxygen. People who lose their voice more often than not breath from their chest and engage in 'shallow breathing'. Diaphragmatic breathing (aka 'deep breathing') ensures you have more breadth when you speak. To practise diaphragmatic breathing lie on your back and place a book on your stomach, now take a breadth and see how much the book moves up and then down. Your aim is to try and get the book to raise as high as possible so that essentially you are breathing 'from your stomach'.
If you do ever start to lose your voice don't hesitate to speak to your GP who can refer you to the NHS to Ear, Nose and Throat to assess any damage who, in turn, will refer you to your local NHS Speech & Language Therapy service. You may need to wait so if you'd prefer not to pop me an email / tweet.
No offence, but hopefully you'll never need to me!