Vocal Care


Excessive talking

Why it’s bad:

  • Laryngeal muscles become fatigued and more liable to strain, therefore your throat gets sore.

Ways to overcome it:

  • Replan talking times to have a heavy talking period followed by a low or non-talking one
  • Set aside periods for voice rest
  • Ensure sufficient sleep and rest before a busy day

Shouting or raising the voice over distance

Why it’s bad:

  • This causes you to produce voice when the larynx is tense. Increased vibration of the vocal folds causes swelling and irritation. Tensing can also hinder breathing.

Ways to overcome it:

  • Move closer to your listeners
  • Use non-verbal attention seeking techniques
  • If others are talking too loudly lower the volume of your own voice and see if they can match it
  • If you must shout breathe deeply, maintain good posture and stay relaxed
  • Be aware of the number of times you raise your voice and try to reduce the amount. Use other ways to get the desired response
  • Use an amplification system when presenting to large groups
  • Make sure the person you are talking to is in the same room
  • Ensure your mouth is wide open to maximise the volume


Talking over background noise

Why it’s bad:

  • This also increases the tension of the laryngeal muscles

Ways to overcome it:

  • Closing doors or windows
  • Turning down the radio, TV or background music
  • Waiting for a pause in the conversation rather than talking over others
  • Avoid shouting in noisy places


Throat clearing and coughing

  • Why it’s bad: Causes the vocal cords to violently bang together. This results in damage at the point of contact

Ways to overcome it:

  • Increasing the awareness of the number of times you do it
  • Hard swallow instead of throat clearing
  • Breathe out through pursed lips when you feel irritation
  • Sip water
  • Chew gum
  • If you have to clear do so as gently as possible
  • Avoid menthol lozenges

Talking with a tense larynx (Signs include: audible breaths, strained voice, tight neck muscles)

  • Why it’s bad: Tense muscles make the vocal cords less flexible and they vibrate together harder therefore causing swelling. As it becomes harder to control the voice you may compensate by changing your pitch and speech may become increasingly breathy.

Ways to overcome it:

  • Relax:
  • Head and neck exercises
  • Chewing
  • Abdominal breathing
  • Giggle release
  • Open mouth more
  • Correct posture
  • Cease speaking before you run out of air
  • Yawning

Talking with a dry throat

  • Why it’s bad: Causes increased irritation which may cause you to throat clear or cough more

Ways to overcome it:

  • Chew gum
  • Drink at least 2L of water per day
  • Always have water handy when talking a lot
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Avoid medications that dry the throat

Smoking and talking in a smoky or air conditioned environment

Why it’s bad:

  • Dries out and irritates the larynx. Can lead to laryngeal cancer and/or swelling of the vocal cords

Ways to overcome it:

  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid smoking areas
  • Maintain adequate hydration

Talking with a sore throat or cold

Why it’s bad:

  • The vocal cords may collect mucus increasing irritation

Ways to overcome it:

  • Cough gently when necessary
  • Rest voice where possible
  • Avoid menthol lozenges
  • Speak quietly
  • Don’t whisper

Drinking Alcohol while using your voice

Why it’s bad:

  • Causes swelling of the blood vessels and roughens the vocal cords causing irritation

Ways to overcome it:

  • Drink non-alcoholic drinks when singing or excessively talking


Published with permission

 Kate Baumwol

Speech Pathologist











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Our address is unit 8/189 Lakeside Drive, Joondalup. We are located between Lions Hearing and Sugar & Spice Patisserie. Parking is available on Lakeside Drive which is coin only metered parking.

There is also a newly opened car park building located in the lane way behind Lakeside Drive, however you will need to enter our rooms through the front entrance.

Contact us

Unit 8/189 Lakeside Drive

Phone : 08 9300 9800
Fax : 08 9300 9877
Email: admin@joondalupent.com