Get A Better Broadcast, Podcast and Voice-Over Voice

Short, daily professional voice advice from breathing to conversational reading: specifically for presenters on radio and TV, podcasts, YouTube, commercial voice-overs, ebook and elearning narrators.

Year THREE of short daily episodes to improve the quality of your speaking voice.Through these around-5-minute episodes, you can build your confidence and competence with advice on breathing and reading, inflection and p

0756 – Your Vocal Battery

Season 3, Ep. 756
2023.01.26 – 0756 – Your Vocal Battery   PROFESSIONAL VOCAL STRAINIt is of course better to ‘defend not mend’ – and prevention is easier than a remedy. So, look after your folds and everything else that helps your body create a great sound. Be aware of how much you are using your voice during the day, and how much rest you are giving it.  The ‘Vocal Battery’Think of your voice-use as a battery: you start the day with it fully-charged but during the course of the day with the amount and kind of use, the battery starts to drain. What will discharge the battery the most:·        The amount you use it - how long you speak for·        The type of speaking that you do – close-mic work will have less strain than excitable live sports commentary outside in winter·        Your vocal quality - using a voice different from your usual one, for example, putting on a character voice for a book narration or video game character, or even lots of whispering, can increase laryngeal stress·        The intensity of your pitch - using a higher or lower pitch than normal will also increase laryngeal stress·        How loud you are – we tend to speak louder when background noise is loud, and this increases stress on the vocal folds, so reduce your time speaking at a loud party, gig or sports event·        How fast you speak – the folds move faster So, for a voice professional, try to plan your day of voice-use if you can: ease it in with slower scripts in your normal range at the start of the day, and more demanding ones towards the end. That way around and your voice will be prepped for the strenuous work. The reverse way and it could be tired and scratchy for the ‘straight reads’.  Funny, isn’t it? It’s almost socially acceptable to have a hoarse voice after a loud, late night, but if you woke up the next day and your vision was blurry, we might take that a bit more seriously. 

0755 – Why Your Evening Meal Could Be Killing Your Voice

Season 3, Ep. 755
2023.01.25 – 0755 – Why Your Evening Meal Could Be Killing Your Voice   Acid reflux[1] This is when digestive juices (made up of strong acids and enzymes) find their way from the stomach into the oesophagus. Known by doctors as GERD (‘gastro-esophageal reflux disease) or GOR (‘gastro-oesophageal reflux), symptoms include heartburn, indigestion, coughing, belching, general discomfort and a sour taste in the mouth.For some people, these juices may even get into the trachea causing irritation to the larynx and vocal folds, and even into the mouth. This is known as LPR, laryngo-pharyngeal reflux, or ‘silent reflux’ as many people don’t have classic heartburn symptoms. This back-flow of fluids can affect your voice by causing: A feeling of a lump in your throat (‘globus’) and so, throat clearing and coughing spasmsAn unpleasant ‘acid’ or ‘bilious’ taste at the back of your mouthA feeling of a build-up of mucus in your throatExcessive burping, particularly during the day A sore, dry or sensitive throatCroakiness or hoarsenessChronic coughing Reflux can be affected by what you eat and drink:Fatty foodSpicy food SugarAcidic drinks such as fruit juicesAlcoholCoffee And your lifestyle:Obesity or poor posture which can affect the valve that should stop this from happeningEating heavy meals or late mealsPregnancySmoking  How to make things better:Avoiding those foods and drinks and changing your lifestyleLosing weight and stopping smokingEating regular and smaller meals, eating more slowly, chewing each mouthful well and then chewing on gum afterwards to increase the flow of saliva which’ll cancel out the acidDrinking more waterReducing pressure on the valve by bending at the knees when you pick things up and wearing looser clothing around your waistSome say sleeping on their left side and with the head elevated (raise the head of your bed a couple of inches) can helpTaking OTC remedies (‘over the counter’) for indigestion or heartburn before getting professional advice to find out exactly what is causing the symptoms, and to get the right treatment. [1] Sources:;;;;  

0753 – Hydration Oughta Be Water, But…

Season 3, Ep. 753
2023.01.23 – 0753 – Hydration Oughta Be Water, But…Where hydration comes fromHydration oughta be water, plain, pure and at room temperature. But if you’re struggling to drink enough try:·        Try flavouring your water with fruit·        Drink caffeine-free tea like chamomile, ginger, or peppermint tea·        Eat foods that contain more water, such as cucumbers or melonso  Cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens and high fibre fruits contain good nutrients and vitamins, which help keep the voice healthy and lubricated·        Keep a humidifier running in the place that you sleep, and also in the place where you work or are most often using your voice. Essentially all fluids count, but it may be an idea to try and avoid: ·        Some people say dairy and chocolate affect their mucus levels, so you may want to monitor your intake and avoid them if you agree ·        Drinks from the machine: cold and fizzy or hot and caffeinatedo  Carbonated drinks will have the obvious result of causing burps and may affect breath supporto  Drinking caffeine (say in coffee) may increase your heart rate and make you more nervous you may have difficulty concentrating on the script or speak too fast. Caffeine can also speed up the production of extra-thick phlegm and that will mean you spend more time swallowing hard or coughing. A widely-held view that coffee will dehydrate you, is now thought not to be accurate, although it may affect some people in that way. ·        Alcohol can make you drowsy, slurred and contains sugarSome medications  may also cause issues:·        anti-histamines, decongestants and anti-depressants tend to cause dryness ·        over-the-counter local anaesthetic medication for the throat create numbness reducing our ability to know if we are damaging our voice further