In this episode of Elevating Experts, Andy and Louise chat about how to look after your best asset as a podcaster: your voice! Here are some of our top tips:
At all stages:
- Never yell, disappointment doesn’t need a strained voice
- Listen to how your body responds to different products
- Let your body recover instead of masking its pain
You’re all set with a bunch of scripts to batch record some episodes, or maybe you’ve day full of Zoom meetings… either way there’s a real risk you could end up with a very tired and hoarse voice at the end of it all. We’re here to tell you that doesn’t need to happen and how to avoid it!
Louise: So, you listened to our advice and decided to batch out a whole bunch of podcast episodes. Great! Only problem is now after you’ve recorded all those scripts, your voice is a little hoarse. Stop! Don’t say another word! We’re going to give you some hints and tips on how you can protect your voice. I’m Louise Poole.
Andy: and I’m Andy Le Roy and we’re elevating you as an expert in your field.
Louise: You’ve got such a beautiful voice for podcasts or at least you did that until you went and strained it.
Andy: And it’s not just on podcasts, sometimes I find when we talk on zoom all day I get a little bit hoarse.
Louise: That’s because you’re not looking after yourself Andy. And we all about self care here! Especially when it comes to one of our great assets as podcasters – our voice.
Andy: Why do I get the sense that there’s a lesson from Doctor Poole coming?
Louise: Well, what’s the point of having fake qualification if I can’t use it? Do you know how vocal sound is made?
Andy: Educate me, Doctor Poole!
Louise: It’s created by activating your vocal folds which are also known as the vocal cords. But they’re not really chords they’re folds of mucous membrane. The folds work when you exhale air by coming together and vibrating thousands of times per second to produce sound.
Andy: So, like a cricket’s legs?
Andy: Never mind.
Louise: So, when you breathe properly, these folds come together gently and produce a warm pleasant voice. But poor breathing or not treating those vocal cords with care, can result in a strained voice or one that’s painful when you’re trying to speak.
Andy: Is this why you keep encouraging me to drink cups of tea?
Louise: We’ll get to that, plus it’s full of antioxidants and Doctor Poole approved. Do you know about diaphragmatic breathing?
Andy: Yeah. That’s when you allow your belly to extend out every time you inhale. it’s the body’s natural way of breathing, but sometimes we breathe by moving our chest instead, especially when we’re feeling anxious or nervous.
Louise: The easiest way to practice diaphragmatic breathing, is by placing one hand on your belly and one on your chest then inhale through your nose for two seconds, feel the air move into your abdomen and feel your stomach move out. Then breathe out and push the belly.
Andy: Are you teaching us how to meditate or protect out voice there Doctor Poole?
Louise: Why not both? If you’re a bit more zen, you’re less likely to yell and strain your voice. Besides telling someone your disappointed in them is much more of an effective motivator than yelling…
Andy: Um… an unexpected tip from today’s show I guess.
Louise: Try not to raise your voice and yell or scream. And particularly don’t scream-sing every song at a Maroon 5 concert and expect to be able to talk properly for the next week.
Andy: What about the tea?
Louise: Oh yes, tea. So, you want to keep those vocal folds hydrated. If your mucous membrane gets dry your voice gets raspy.
Andy: Doesn’t the science tell us to drink water?
Louise: Yeah, but my personal experience tells me that a warm chamomile soothes the spot better. And breathing in the steam helps unblock the nasal cavities.
Andy: What about coffee? That dehydrates you.
Louise: Yeah, but you’ll never take my coffee away and live. I have a rule that for every coffee I have, I have twice as much water to balance it.
Andy: And this is why you leave the studio for bathroom breaks every 40 minutes… So sugary soft drinks would do the same because they are also dehydrating.
Louise: But we aren’t the fun police. It’s about getting to know your own body and working out what is effective for you. I’ll never give up my soy lattes with honey Andy. But I don’t have dairy if I’m about to record because that does cause a phlegm storm.
Andy: If I drink anything really chilled it causes a similar sensation. Like my throat is a bit tighter and its harder to speak.
Louise: Room temperature water always!
Andy: I think that listening to the signs our body gives us is important. Sometimes when I’ve done a lot of talking, I feel like my voice needs a rest.
Louise: And it’s important not to push it. It’s just like every other muscle. The easiest way to damage it is by pushing on when you should stop. Remember the maroon 5 concert from before?
Andy: Where you busted out your moves like jagger?
Louise: I scream-sung that night and the next morning my voice was in terrible shape. But I didn’t listen to my body and instead of resting, I took numbing throat lozenges to mask the pain and dryness, then the next day I did a breakfast radio show that involved a lot of talking and my voice got even worse. And because I’m stubborn, and the lozenges masked how much damage I was really doing, I also did the rest of the weeks’ worth of shows and ended up completely losing my voice for almost 3 weeks.
Andy: Did you ever scream-sing again Doctor Poole?
Louise: I save it for Taylor Swift only now Andy.
Andy: I’ve got a blank space to write down these recaps points to put in today’s show notes. What were they?
Louise: Never yell, disappointment doesn’t need a strained voice
Andy: Listen to how your body responds to different products
Louise: And Let your body recover instead of masking its pain
Andy: Next time on Elevating Experts, Generating Word-Of-Mouth
For more hints and tips to elevate you as an expert in your field, subscribe to our podcast Elevating Experts now.
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Elevating Experts is an Australian short form podcast series, with new episodes released Mondays, where we help content creators and podcasters by sharing tips to improve your skills & simplify your processes, and elevate you as an expert in your field!
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Louise has worked in Australian commercial radio, media and broadcasting for over 20 years, in on air and brand management roles. Her CV includes hosting 973fm Brisbane, Queensland, morning radio announcer and music director for 8+ years, Content Director of Darwin, Northern Territory radio stations MIX 1049, Hot 100. More info about Louise Poole here.
Andy has over twenty years leadership experience, across a range of fields including broadcasting, aged care and telecommunications. His CV includes Darwin’s top rating drive-time radio program to managing a successful community radio station in Adelaide, South Australia, helping it to expand its community appeal by leading the station to innovate its content. More info about Andy Le Roy here