Speaking can be more tiring on the voice than singing. Especially in a noisy environment. We’ve all found ourselves at a party, in a restaurant or at a conference when it’s so noisy you can’t be heard without straining. You come home with a sore, tired throat and a scratchy voice. What can you do?
Start with speaking at a higher pitch than usual. The higher frequencies cut through the noise better. Think about it, you don’t hear a car alarm sounding in the lower pitch range. The high pitched sounds cut through any noise and carry much further. The same with your voice. If you speak in a higher than normal pitch range, you’ll be heard better.
Try not to tighten up and push your voice. Consciously relax the throat. Force will not make the sound travel more effectively. To the contrary, it will dull and mute your voice and make it harder for you to be heard. Take a deep breath through the nose and relax your throat as you let your breath to carry the sound up into the higher range.
Smile! Yes, this does help shape the acoustic spaces of your voice to reinforce those cutting higher frequencies. See my blog “Smile, Your Voice Carries Further”. This goes back to one of the most important elements of good singing or speaking, projection. Use the acoustics of your voice to carry the sound, not the muscles.
Keep your body hydrated to keep creating the lubrication your vocal cords need to avoid fatigue. Alcohol will reduce hydration. Water is always best.
If you find yourself in a noisy situation, try these time tested techniques. Be a person of few words. Use these ideas and keep your voice healthy.