Celebrate ‘World Voice Day’

Did you know that April 16th is “World Voice Day”? Well, did you?

“World Voice Day” was first introduced in 2002 following a joint effort by The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and other voice health professionals.

According to the the official “World Voice Day” website, this annual event “encourages men and women, young and old, to assess their vocal health and take action to improve or maintain good voice habits, [and the] theme for World Voice Day 2009, ‘Invest in Your Voice,’ reminds people of the value and significance of vocal health in everyday life.”

It goes without saying that “World Voice Day” is of particular importance to voice-over professionals and aspiring voice actors, and this press release from ENTNET.org offers solid advice for maintaining proper vocal health:

“In this era of e-mail, texting and even twittering, there is no substitute for the genuine qualities of the human voice,” says Norman D. Hogikyan, M.D., AAO-HNS member and Professor and Chief of the Division of Laryngology, Rhinology and General Otolaryngology at the University of Michigan. “A healthy voice is not only vital to effective verbal communication, but is also our natural instrument for artistic expression. This year on World Voice Day, America’s otolaryngologists encourage people to “invest in your voice” by taking simple steps to increase your vocal capital and avoiding habits that can be harmful.”

World Voice Day gives vocal health experts the opportunity to highlight the magnitude of vocal health to the general public and to professionals who have built careers around their voices.

As AAO-HNS celebrates the seventh year of World Voice Day observance, ENT doctors offer some tips to keep in tip-top vocal shape:

* Drink plenty of water. Moisture is good for your voice. Hydration helps to keep thin secretions flowing to lubricate your vocal cords.

* Do not smoke and avoid places with excessive secondhand smoke.

* Try not to scream or yell. These are abusive practices for your voice, and put great strain on the lining of the vocal cords.

* Warm up your voice before heavy use. Warm-ups can be simple, such as gently gliding from low to high tones on different vowel sounds, doing lip trills (like the motorboat sound that kids make), or tongue trills.

* Use good breath support. Breath flow is the power for voice. Take time to fill your lungs before starting to talk, and don’t wait until you are almost out of air before taking another breath to power your voice.

* Use a microphone. When giving a speech or presentation, consider using a microphone to lessen the strain on your voice.

* Listen to your voice when it is complaining to you. Know that you need to modify and decrease your voice use if you become hoarse to allow your vocal cords to recover. Pushing your voice when it’s already gruff can lead to significant problems. If your voice is hoarse frequently, or for an extended period of time, you should be evaluated.

Learn more about “World Voice Day” and discover the wealth of resources and information available by visiting ENTNET.org.


One Response to Celebrate ‘World Voice Day’

  1. stefsvoice says:

    This is great advice. I learned of your blog from Bobbin. I think it’s also a great help to us voice actors if we do a few physical stretches before we begin to record. Even something as simple as stretching by lifting our arms straight above our heads, and then stretching with elbows out and hands on the side of our heads. This,I feel, opens up the chest area so that we can breathe more fully and deeply, and thus have a more productive vocal experience. It’s also relaxing and energising at the same time!


%d bloggers like this: