Y’all. I have had a lot of clients recently who seem to feel at the mercy of their voice. If they wake up hoarse, that’s it they are hoarse for the whole day. If they start to notice their throat is starting to get tired, they leave the event. If they are asked to repeat themselves, they decide they are unintelligible. If they are sick or hoarse for a day, they sink into it for the week.
These people did not understand they have the power to change these things.
Let’s take a deeper look at the specific clients I called out above to see what we can learn from their actions.
“Mary” woke up hoarse, just like she used to before she made some changes to help her voice. Her voice had been feeling strong and clear, so the hoarseness surprised her and she settled into a day of raspiness. She simply forgot to use the tools she had learned in or coaching. Once she started applying them, even in the face of adversity, she was surprised to see that they actually worked.
We can get so used to an old pattern that we forget we can interrupt it. Even if you don’t have regular problems with your voice, you might get caught in a loop if it behaves unexpectedly. Try just changing it!
“Rhoda” was at a party and noticed her throat was getting tired. This was a win, because she used to talk until her voice gave out. But when she noticed the fatigue, instead of changing her behavior, she left the party. While positive in terms of self-care, she could have stayed longer by applying the techniques she was working on. Good awareness, but un unnecessarily harsh result.
Noticing problems is essential, but it doesn’t always mean you can’t continue on with what you want to do.
“Murray” is a pharmacist and ESL speaker. He was dejected because, after diligent work on clear speech and projection, someone asked him to repeat himself. He spiraled into believing he had made no progress. Upon further questioning, it came out that the person who asked him to repeat himself was hard of hearing, which obviously played a role in their ability to hear and understand.
Be careful about catastrophizing little bumps along the road. They are inevitable, and usually minor.
“Lou” is a singer and teacher who made great progress on his voice. He got a cold and his voice naturally dropped back into a less healthy place. It stayed there for a week. He forgot to see if he could move it back to the new, healthy place! As soon as he tried, his voice was exponentially clearer, louder, and more comfortable.
The take home point it s this. Whether you have worked on your voice or not, you have skills. Use what you know, especially if you have worked hard for that knowledge!
If you’d like some guidance as you use what you know, reach out for a consult.