By Nichelle L. Early, Executive Editor
Throat and Voice Care Tips
Written by, Nichelle Early
A preaching woman's voice is her greatest asset, naturally speaking. Thus, it is imperative that you protect your voice and keep it in optimum condition to withstand the rigors of preaching. Needless to say, not taking care of your throat can possibly shorten the lifespan of your preaching ministry.
Here are some tips supported by our friends Dr. Sanford Archer (Otolaryngology), Dr. Joe Stemple (Communication Disorders), and Dr. Noemi Lugo (Voice Production).
What Should You Do?
If you have a problem such as a chronic cough or allergy that affects your voice, it is imperative that you see an ear-nose-throat specialist. You do not have to live with constant hoarseness or sore throats. Remember, your voice is one of your greatest assets.
As quiet as it's kept, your whole body affects your voice! Take good care of your general health, including getting enough rest and sleep - yes, this can be a challenge for those of you with rigorous ministering schedules, but the doctors really mean it!
Drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages during the day. Sip water as much as you can when you are preaching. This can be very challenging, but it is very important that you keep hydrated.
Remember to breathe! Squeezing out the last few words when you are out of breath puts strain on your vocal cords and can cause severe hoarseness.
Protect yourself from pollution and fumes, including cigarette smoke. Protect yourself from illness as much as possible. Going into different environments and climates can expose you to different germs and illnesses and can wreak havoc on your throat and voice.
Use a microphone as much as possible. Speaking loudly is too hard on your voice. Besides, they are there to hear you!
Make sure you assume good posture, both sitting and standing. Relax your shoulders and neck, keep your head straight and your throat loose.
Warm up your vocal chords before ministering. You can do this by humming softly in route to the service, quietly singing a hymn, and most definitely singing your own sermonic solo if possible.
One more time, get it in your mind - drink, drink, drink water!
What should you avoid?
- Avoid talking when your throat is sore. If you must minister with a sore throat, give yourself a good voice rest afterward. Don't whisper or lower your voice to try to get through - use a microphone and speak normally.
- Avoid constant coughing or throat clearing. This irritates the vocal cords. Instead, yawn, breathe deeply, or take a sip of water.
- Avoid talking while exercising. Talking while panting is hard on the voice!
Remember, you are the only person who can take care of your voice, your precious asset. Do it, and do it well.