Tips for a healthy voice and a sonorous performance

Public Speaking: Be careful with your voice and don't whisper
Be Careful With Your Voice

Protect your voice as a public speaker


Professional speakers must be particularly careful as their voices are their prerequisites for their tasks. That’s why you’ll find tips on how to protect your voice on these pages.


Be careful with your voice


As a coach and speaker, I know how important a healthy voice is for some of us. Professional speakers need to be particularly careful because their voices are essential to their activities. Some people use their voices more often and under conditions that can cause additional stress. Uncontrolled screaming, shouting and singing damage the voice, just like speaking for long periods in cold or noisy surroundings and during physical exertion. 

That’s good to know: The voice can also be nurtured. There are many tips for public speakers. 



Here are 14 tips for protecting your voice



1. Warm-up


Always warm up yourself and your voice before a speech. A cold start doesn’t do the voice any good. This can include relaxation techniques and gentle exercise. Your voice coach will show you suitable techniques specifically for activating your voice.




2. Use your natural voice


Avoid forcing your voice to a lower or unnatural pitch.




3. Regenerate yourself and your voice


Permanent speech strains the vocal cords. This often happens unnoticed in the beginning, but at some point, the body defends itself with hoarseness.

Rest your voice as much as possible between performances and avoid tension and stress. If the voice is attacked due to an infection, it is advisable to rest your voice temporarily and drink a lot of fluids, for example, ginger tea. So the best strategy to get back to your voice quickly is still to just “shut up”.




4. Train your voice


Participate in voice training and learn voice techniques that can protect and improve your voice.




5. Coughing instead of clearing your throat


If you have a hoarse voice, you usually clear your throat. In this way, our voice becomes clear again, but we strain the sensitive mucous membranes of the vocal folds. It is better and just as effective to cough briefly.




6. Don’t smoke


Smoking is taboo for good vocal hygiene.




7. Avoid unhealthy environment


Avoid unhealthy, smoky rooms, bars and places where the environment can adversely affect speech quality.




8. Beware of alcohol


Drink alcohol moderately, if at all.




9. Be careful with coffee


Coffee, black and green tea should only be consumed in moderation, as these drinks dry out the mucous membranes.




10. Drink water


Keep yourself and your voice moist by drinking plenty of non-carbonated water.





11. Healthy lifestyle


Practice a healthy lifestyle that includes cardio training and good nutrition.




12. Whispering can be hazardous to your voice


The fastest way to lose our voice is to scream or shout. But there are also many less obvious ways to burden your voice, and public speakers need to know them. One example is whispering. To protect your voice, you may think that whispering is softer, gentler and less stressful for your vocal cords. But the truth is that whispering can be dangerous for your voice.

Whispering really does affect your voice more than normal speech. When you whisper, you send an enormous amount of extra air to the vocal cords, making them dry and irritated. This is even worse than screaming and shouting. When whispering, the vocal folds are tightened so that they are closed at the front and open at the back. This is an unnatural way of using the voice. When you do this for a long time, you will find it difficult to speak normally again afterward, because it impedes the vocal cords in their function.

If you need to speak, don’t whisper. People who care about their voices should avoid whispering and just talk quietly.




13. Trust is good, control is better


In case of doubt, you would rather go to a medical specialist, such as a doctor who knows what to do.




14. Many more tips


And there are many more ways in which to protect your voice.

Just ask me personally

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me by e-mail (, phone +49(0)30 864 213 68 and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56. You can also use this contact form. Please read the information about the privacy policy.


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We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us. Friedrich Nietzsche

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 21, 2002
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 11, 2019
Translation: August 11, 2019
German version: