Happy World Voice Day!

My observance today included hydrating, and singing classic rock in the car during a long drive.

World Voice Day is an annual, now-international event created to recognize and honor the importance of the human voice – “to share the excitement of voice science, pedagogy and the vocal arts”[1]. We use our voices to communicate from the very beginning of life, crying, laughing, and babbling before we can hold a crayon or even know a word of language. Voices carry emotion and information, speech and song. Voice is central to human identity and interaction throughout our lives, and especially important in my life and work.

We often take our voices for granted, perhaps until an illness or vocal injury limits a person’s ability to communicate, whether at home, work, school, or even on stage. As a medical voice pathologist I work with teams of dedicated professionals including physicians, allied health providers, and scientists, taking advantage of leading-edge research and technology to help people of all backgrounds enjoy better vocal health and function.

Outside of the healthcare world, I am fortunate as a communication coach to work with clients of The Speech Improvement Company in fields of business, education, and others, to enhance their expressive abilities, often drawing on the power of vocal presence and authenticity to help inform, entertain, and persuade.

Here’s to a happy, healthy World Voice Day 2017! I leave you with just a few suggestions for the care and feeding of your voice:

  • Vocal strain, screaming, whispering, coughing, and throat clearing can all affect the health of your vocal tissues and muscles, especially over the long term. Be gentle to your voice.


  • Our vocal fold (vocal cord) tissues are composed largely of water. Hydration will help keep your voice in good working order, as well as humidification in dry environments.


  • Many irritants such as smoke, allergens, and acid reflux can contribute to symptoms like hoarseness and throat irritation. Talk to your doctor or consider trying a lifestyle change.


  • If you think your voice could be doing more to help you communicate effectively, talk to us!


[1] From the World Voice Day mission statement. Read more at http://2017.world-voice-day.org/

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