The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Coaxing a Hoarse Voice into Working Order

If you are involved in public speaking, you know how important a good, strong, clear voice is to you. If you have an upcoming event and find yourself getting hoarse, it doesn't take long before you start to panic. After all, your voice is your living. Well, recently I had a pivotal speaking engagement accompanied by record high ragweed and other seasonal allergy irritants making my voice hoarse. I was beside myself with worry. Here are the remedies I found online to maintain a weakening voice and get you through your speaking engagement. Try them out and see what works best for you.


  1. Drink at least 80 oz. of water in a day. I know this is hard because you have so much drainage going from maddened sinuses down the back of your throat that your stomach feels full. Still, this remedy is the key to your success. I have 20 oz. plastic water bottles that are very useful for keeping track of intake. Four bottles of water downed from that baby and I know I've hit the minimum target. Also, you'll quickly discover that somewhere around the 60 oz. mark, you start feeling better. You're getting hydrated, probably for the first time in a long time. Keep that voice moist.
  2. Keep the cough to a minimum and resist the urge to clear your throat. Take cough syrup. When you find the urge to cough coming on anyway, use cough drops to fight that urge. This will give your vocal cords more help toward recovery. 
  3. Try warm broth with garlic to ease those vocal cords as well. If you want a different approach, I personally recommend hot and sour soup well made from your local Chinese restaurant. That stuff will give you about two hours of sinus drainage relief (totally unscientific observation). It also gives you a treat to help with your frazzled nerves. 
  4. Take a long, hot bath or shower. The steamy water will also help to rehydrate your vocal cords and return your dulcet tones. 
  5. Sip at hot drinks. Tea with honey works well and soothes those precious cords. This will also provide relief for irritated throats and vocal cords. 
  6. Get lots of sleep the night before and start hydrating again like crazy the day of the speech. 
  7. When forced to speak before the public engagement, speak in low tones. No shouting, no whispering, no singing. Keep those conversations to a minimum. Rest the voice for the big event. I know it's tough for anyone who makes a living speaking, but do it anyway. 
The first tip is the key to the whole thing. Remember, at least 80 oz. of water in a day and preferably more. Just make sure you're not far from a bathroom. On the big day, take water with you. You should have a stronger voice for your efforts and once you start speaking and stop worrying, all your skills will kick in to help you leap past your vocal trials and tribulations. On the day of the speech, make no apologies for the voice you have. Never let that audience see you sweat ... or know they could have gotten more out of you if circumstances were different. What they don't know won't hurt them ... and what you don't tell them won't bias them as you start speaking. 

Good luck! You're going to get through this. I used all these techniques recently and came through just fine. In fact, the results of my last speaking engagement appear to be bearing fruit that will change my life in some very significant ways! More on that later.

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