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Improper speaking voice?

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Hi everyone, I think there is something wrong with my speaking voice:

-If I have to talk loudly, my voice tires/gets sore very easily. If I talk at my 'normal' volume on a 'normal' day there is no problem. But if I raise my voice or have to talk a lot at my 'normal' volume, I will get sore. It could be as little as 10-15 minutes of talking while raising my voice.

-And of course, singing seems to cause it sometimes, but it's more unpredictable. It's seems to be much more related to my speaking.

-My voice is not hoarse, but it becomes uncomfortable to talk. It's like there's a sore spot way back on the roof of my mouth that my tongue can't reach, but I want to lick it to make it feel better (sorry if that is confusing, but it's the best way I can describe it). It's uncomfortable to talk and a bit uncomfortable to swallow as well.

-This feeling goes away if I don't talk for about an hour (drinking water helps too).

-It might have something to do with breath support. When speaking, I don't feel any sort of connection between by voice and my abs. It's like my voice is coming out of my neck/face. My posture is good though.

-Thought I might have been talking from my throat, so I brought in some nasality/'higher placement' into my voice. Didn't really help.

I would like to know if someone has any idea what is going on. I can find info about a hoarse voice but not this tired/sore feeling that goes away in an hour. I didn't have this issue as a kid. Seems to have started becoming more and more noticeable in the past 3-4 years. Any help/insight is appreciated.

Thank you!

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You might need professional help for your problem.

Public speaking can be similar to singing because of the need to take care of your voice.

There are lots of public speaking books out there for how to speak to various sized audiences.

If you don't use your voice properly, you can actually make yourself hoarse.

If you like to read books, you might want to read "The Voice Book" by Kate Devore.

I have her book.

The author is actually a vocal/speech pathologist for speakers, actors, and singers.

She has many stories in her book about fixing people's voices. For example, a teacher's

voice would get hoarse and tired during every lecture to her students. Like singers,

public speakers can prevent damage to their voices with proper technique. Depending

on the size of the room, you may need to project your voice in different ways.

Some notes on the author:

Kate DeVore, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a Voice/Speech pathologist specialized in professional voice, a theatre voice. speech and dialect trainer, and a personal development coach. She has an M.A. in Speech Pathology (communication disorders) with an emphasis in professional voice, and a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in acting and voice.

Kate has worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School), The Voice Center at The University of Illinois Chicago Hospital, Roosevelt University, Columbia College, Wellesley College, Brandeis University, Emerson College, the Acting Studio Chicago, and many other theatre companies and training programs in Boston and Chicago. She also served on the board of directors of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association).

Her website is:


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Tony Robbins had the same problem. So, he took singing lessons to improve the endurance of his speaking voice. So, in some cases, learning breath support and resonance or voice projection can also take the load off of your vocal folds and still carry your sound. For, you are probably pushing in your throat, when you should carry in your head. In a sense, get the note out of your throat.

And follow the resources, in Cham's reply.

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I actually have problems with speaking as well. I can belt at the top of my lungs and sing with distortion for hours and not have any pain whatsoever. But after an extended period of trying to talk loudly, I'm rather hoarse.

If I don't apply my singing training to speaking, it's more likely that I'm going to try and gain volume by pushing more air rather than doing it the proper way, which is resisting the air. This is bad for the voice in both speaking and singing, although usually when we speak it's done on lower pitches and so it's less noticeable right away that we're doing something unhealthy.

The problem for me is that I feel like speaking ought not to require work. I shouldn't have to think about it the way I think about singing. In reality, it would probably be good for my voice if I did.

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The vocal apparatus has numerous counteracting muscles (to open or close). Your vocal muscles likely has many tensions; these aren't overly exerted when talking normally, but when shouting or talking loudly, the tensions cause the counteracting muscles to overexert against each other, which causes fatigue rapidly.

Three treatments I'm aware:

1. Get rid of the vocal tensions-- this method can take a long, long time.

2. Use resonance instead of shouting power--this method is a quick solution, but it may feel funny at first.

3. Learn better shouting and high volume speech vocal techniques--this method is suspect until tensions are first rid of.

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