Voice Care for Coaches

Coaches rely heavily on their voice to service clients.If you also give teleclasses or workshops, voicemaintenance needs to be one of their top self-carepriorities. This information also applies to singers,speakers, or sales professionals.

During flu and cold season, vocal cords become highlysensitized and need as much care as a valuableinstrument. Think of your voice, and we should, as anexpensive, rare violin. If you were going to play theviolin the next day -- same relation as having aspeaking engagement or a full day of coaching -- youwouldn't expose that violin to a night in a smokefilled room, lay cigars or pour alcohol all over it andexpect it not to suffer from the abuse the next day.

Antibiotics don't help viral infections or laryngitis-- a common result from a viral infection caused from acold or flu. Recently, I suffered got the flu andsuffered from a severe case of laryngitis. I had tocancel a teleclass, lose a week of work, and almost apaid speaking engagement. The more I self-treatedthrough media knowledge or recommendations, the worsethe laryngitis got.

It took over 20 days before I improved and then twoweeks later, it returned. After great frustration, Ifinally visited my ear, nose, and throat specialist,only to learn that everything I was trying was actuallycontributing the extended suffering. Let me pass alongsome of my learning so you don't need to go throughthis. Like me, some of it will surprise you.

Food and Beverages

Warm or hot beverages work best. Cold beverages withice produces the voice center to spasm generatingcoughing that results in laryngitis. Stick to drinkingroom temperature water.

Black Currant Pastilles, which are glycerin-containinglozenges for adults, keeps the throat moist. Pastillesare perfect to take before, during, and after flying ortraveling from one temperature extreme to another, sayNew York to Florida in winter. It is good to havethese on hand since they are difficult to find. Manyprofessional singers use Black Currant Pastilles 24hours before their performance.

Avoid anything with mint or menthol.

Throat Coat® Tea, designed specifically for voiceprofessionals, is rated higher than Pastilles. The teacontains licorice root, which is widely used to enhancethroat and upper respiratory tract health. Anybeverage that affects your stomachs acid level, likecaffeine, will also affect your vocal cords. Caffeineis a mild diuretic and dries the throat and vocalcords. Coffee, including decaf, due to its naturaloils causes acidic results that cause vocal damage.This includes chocolate. If you suffer from acidreflux disease, you need to take extra care of yourvoice since it cause permanent damage. Sodas alsocause acid reflux and damages vocal cords.

With a cold or flu, we usually drink orange juice.This acidic beverage actually lengthens laryngitis. Sodoes the amount of lemon you use in water. A tiny bitof lemon in warm water with a small amount of honey isa great elixir that actually smoothes the vocal cords.

Dairy increases throat mucus for some people. If afteryou drink milk, you feel even a little mucus in yourthroat, you probably have a very mild milk allergy.This will affect your vocal health and can lengthlaryngitis. Nuts have the same allergy affect.

Common Causes of Voice Strain

It's common knowledge that shouting, screaming, andexcessive talking strains voice cords. But, did youknow that whispering, coughing, loud sneezing, crying,laughing, and throat clearing could do the same damage?

Emotional or environmental stress also causes voicestrain. Especially major changes like separation/divorce, new job, kids going off to college, grieving,not enough sleep, moving, and even hormonal changes inadolescents or maturing adults. If you add any ofthese with the need for a quality voice, you will needto take extra care in order not to bruise or damageyour throat center or vocal cords.

Voice Maintenance

When experiencing laryngitis, limit unnecessarytalking, and pause frequently to swallow and remoistenyour throat, even during speaking engagements.Relaxation techniques, like yoga always help, yetconscious aware of your posture and breathing duringspeaking can save or further bruise voice projectionespecially if your voice is weak from a cold.

One of my favorite exercises that I do every morning orwhile driving to a speaking engagement is a vowelreview. Stretch your neck comfortable upwards andrecite the vowels -- a, e, i, o, u. Let your voweltrail off after each one especially the "u." Ifexperiencing laryngitis avoid whispering. Whisperingactually stresses vocal cords reducing recoverysignificantly. If you smoke or visit smoke-filledrooms, triple your maintenance plan, smoke is verydamaging.

If you lose your voice, you will require additionalrest time over a 4-7 day period. This means limitingyour voice to 15 minutes a day. Looking on the brightside, listening skills will definitely improve. Keepphone calls brief; avoid all non-speech voice use,including throat clearing, coughing, and sneezing orany odd sound effects. Snoring also doubles strain.

Over-the-Counter

Even though they give brief relief, throat sprays andmedicated lozenges dry the throat and extend recovery.If used for an emergency, you must follow with extremecare.

Herbs can also cause side effects. You will want todiscuss their use with your doctor or herbpractitioner. Herbs like barberry reduce inflammationand infection caused from respiratory infections, butcan also cause an allergic reaction especially ifalready using another remedy. Herbs like eucalyptus,German chamomile, goldenrod, goldenseal, licorice,marshmallow, peppermint, saw palmetto, or slippery elmare remedies for vocal cord inflections. Adding garlicand ginger to your foods also reduce cold symptomsincluding sore throat and don't need professionaladvice.

Support Team

If your voice is vital to your income, you will want tohave an ear, nose, and throat physician familiar withyour medical history and working with singers. With anongoing relationship, it's easier for them to provideadvice when out of the area.

Last year, while experiencing a mild case oflaryngitis, I saw my doctor before I left for aspeaking engagement but I didn't know to mentioned Iwas traveling to a high elevation. By the time Ichecked in at the hotel, I was in bad shape. Anemergency call and I was armed with new instructions.The next morning I was fine. Did you know that mosttaxi companies will pick up and deliver called-inprescriptions usually at the same rate as a cab ride?

(c) Copyright 2005, Catherine Franz. All rightsreserved.

Catherine Franz, a eight-year Certified ProfessionalCoach, Graduate of Coach University, MasteryUniversity, editor of three ezines, columnist, authorof thousands of articles website:http://www.abundancecenter.comblog: http://abundance.blogs.com

More Resources

Unable to open RSS Feed $XMLfilename with error HTTP ERROR: 404, exiting

More Coaching Information:

Related Articles

A Live It
Real change happens only when it becomes part of our everyday life. When a change becomes a habit, it isn't something new we are trying, but becomes part of what we do as our routine.
Free Advice From Albert Einstein
What If You Could Ask Anyone For Help?Have you ever noticed how sometimes you are at your most creative when you are interacting with another person? You and your friend or acquaintance feed off of each other's ideas and help each other clarify things. Well what about those times when you are alone, or you have no one you wish to share your ideas with? What can you do then to stimulate creative thought and to find elegant solutions to your problems? You could try talking to Albert Einstein.
Making Changes in Your Personal Life
Making changes in your personal life can be a tough process. Change starts with a thought.
Throw a No-Heat Party for the Planet
Is it really possible to have loads of fun, and help the planet at the same time? I remember the first No-heat party I went to. It was on the coldest night of winter that year, according to the Farmer's Almanac.
5 Steps to Derail Difficult People - Your Surefire Way to a Peaceful Resolution
That one guy at work that always has to be right; your buddy's wife who can't eat anywhere they serve burgers, or the monster-in-law, I mean mother-in-law, with too many opinions for your own good, difficult people, we all know them. So the question is, is there a right and a wrong way to deal with them? The answer is yes, if you want to avoid unnecessary confrontations.
Value Based Leadership Coaching
What can I do to be a better coach? The Eight Step Coaching Model describes the process, yet too often the focus is on techniques only. "How can I say it to win my point, get others to do things my way, or convince them?" Focusing only on one technique is fundamentally manipulative.
Parts that Make the Whole? or Not
There are many parts that make up you.There's the Musical You, the Friendly You, the Amazing You, the Genius You, the Calm You, the Peaceful You, and many more parts that make up who you are - much like an identity check list:All round good guy/gal part - checkUniquely amazing you part - checkWitty and intelligent part - checkLovable and charming part - checkMoody and indecisive part - who me??? Never?Selfish and greedy part - not me! Never?Self opinionated - Nope, not me! Never?We all have wonderful attributes; we also have parts not so wonderful which we'd rather keep hidden but really, it's okay to acknowledge we have both.
How to Save Yourself from Negative Influences
Watching the news can be hazardous to your health.It's a fact, especially when you're watching events related to terrorism, kidnapping, murder, accidents, or calamities.
The Great Marketing Reframe
From grimaces to stomach knots, talking about marketing seems to take on the sound of Charlie Brown's teacher, with so many syllables of "wah WAaah, wah WAah, wah." What does this mean? For starters, I find it terrifying ironic that, when it boils down to it, truly - marketing and coaching are actually ONE.
Growing On G.R.O.W - A More Specific Coaching Model For Busy Managers
The effective coaching of employees by their line managers is fast becoming an expectation from both senior management and from the employees themselves. Many managers are now being taught how best to coach their employees by employing the standard coaching model called G.
Negotiating Difficult Life Transitions
Life is a process of beginnings and endings. In both life and nature, there are times when things move slowly and don't seem to change very much.
Avoid the Tendency to Underestimate Your Greatness
As a whole I think there is a sad tendency in most of us to underestimate just how powerful we are. Just how much greatness lies inside each and every one of us - just waiting to get out.
A Simple Strategy for Managing ADD
As an ADD Coach, I usually begin my conversations with new and potential clients by saying, "Tell me about yourself and why you're looking for coaching." Most people answer with a long list of their ADD challenges.
Corporate Coaching - Why Coach? C(5)+ED
Is it possible to make a strong "business case for corporate coaching?" Why is coaching vital to organizations? Why should leaders invest time developing their coaching skills? These are tough, important questions that organizations should consider before implementing coaching.The need for corporate coaching certainly depends on the situation.
Becoming An Information Filter And A Knowledge Sponge
As the title states, "Become an Information Filter and a Knowledge Sponge." On your daily journey to achieve your WHY, you will travel through many different avenues and sometimes you will ask yourself, "Why do I need to meet this person or experience this situation?" The key is to truly understand that you must become an information filter and use your personal God-given filters -- your eyes and your ears.
Leading Grief Groups: The Preliminaries
Preparation: If you desire advertising the group, announcements need to go to the media at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the group. Most effective is either an article or listing under Grief/support groups in the local newspaper.
Dont Be Jealous - Be Inspired
When we see people do things we cannot do, or have things we don't have, it might be tempting to be a little jealous. But, jealousy doesn't lead to anything except resentment, and that isn't going to help you.
Attention! Thought Crossing! - Or, The Secret of What's Between Your Ears
What are you thinking - right now? 'I'm reading your article!' you say. Well, take a little bit of a closer look.
Personal Life Coaching And How It Can Help You
Coaching is an effective process used to support individuals in creating something new for themselves. I work side by side with my clients' coaching them by providing perspective and support for self-knowledge as they accomplish their business and personal goals.
Permission To Have FUN
Have you been working long hours? Have you been managing 10 (or more) tasks at once? Are you combining several different personal and professional roles?99% of my clients are experts at managing lifestyles similar to those above and this issue is dedicated to all of you.Your reward for managing your lives so well is permission to have some FUN.