Friday, January 25, 2008

when your voice is lost

Political campaigns offer up daily examples for good speakers about what--and what not--to do. Today's Wall Street Journal looks at candidates who speak so much (whether one-on-one or to large groups) that they lose their voices. Physicians and vocal coaches recommend:
- Watching out for gastric reflux, a vocal-cord irrantant, by avoiding caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and mints and taking antacids; and
- Rest, something the candidates fail at routinely, and silence, another tough medicine on the campaign trail.
A few home-grown remedies that aides and coaches swear by in the article--a tablespoon of olive oil, or wearing a scarf to keep vocal cords warm--sound to us like the refuge of the desperate. Before your next speech, just avoid caffeine and drink lots of water. If your throat's closing up, hot water with lemon (but not tea) helps many a speaker at the last minute. But rest is best, we say.