If you’re not used to using your voice all the time, you’re going to learn quickly that talking all day takes a toll on your throat. While having too much work is a problem we all like to have, you still need to take care of yourself, both for your health and your ability to continue to work.
There are some tricks of the trade that many of us use in order to protect our voices. Try them and see what works for you.
Warm Up Your Voice
Just like any muscle, it helps to warm up your throat. Begin with some soft humming and talking to yourself. It is not a bad idea to pick up your first script of the day, and begin reading slowly, gradually picking up the pace. By doing so, you’re also familiarizing yourself with that particular read.
Next, focus on your mouth and lips. It’s going to sound and feel a little funny, but begin by making a “ooooo” sound. Without stopping, transition into the word, “WOW”. Then back to “oooo”. Then “WAAHHHH.”Really push the sides of your lips and mouth out as far as they’ll go.
Transition between these different words continually until you feel like you have stretched and warmed up.
Another secret is to drink some warm water with lemon. The warm water will help warm up your throat well both the water and lemon will get rid of excess mucus hanging out.
Mucus is not a voiceover talent’s friend.
The water should be on the cool side of hot — somewhere around 140 degrees F. I have a kettle I use that allows you heat to a particular temperature. They run about $40-80 on Amazon depending on which one you get. The Bonavita kettle with the gooseneck is pretty great if you make coffee pour overs, by the way. The Breville one, however, is what I would get if I just wanted to heat water to a particular temp.
If you don’t have or want to invest in a thermometer-driven kettle, I’d microwave some water in a mug for about 30 seconds and toss in a lemon slice. However, watch that you don’t burn your mouth on the mug.
Finally, I would suggest investing in some throat spray. Entertainers Secret is 10 bucks on Amazon, and does a good job. It helps lubricate your throat the way oil lubricates an engine. Vocal EZE is another good product.
How about you? What other suggestions do you have for keeping your throat healthy and feeling tip-top? Leave a comment below and let us know.