High Performance Speakers: Vocal dose and physical limits of speaking expand with proactive voice conditioning
Kathleen Cameron and I were recently discussing the improvements she has made in her voice goals. She is not pushing or forcing her voice near as often, and is noticing it flows with more ease while still being herself!
Previously, she felt she had been trying to say/be what she thought people needed to hear from her, but that wasn’t sustainable. She stated “Now I just speak!”
However, her speaking requirements while running an 8-figure company are still intense! She has media appearances, a team to lead, client calls to teach, events to host and 2 beautiful girls to care for…all increasing her voice dose (amount of voice use in a given day/week).
She is a Vocal Athlete.
A vocal athlete, who, just a few months ago, had a very unexpected hit to her voice’s power source: Emergency surgery to her lungs.
Kathleen is one of the most successful personal development & manifestation mentors in the world, and she knows a thing or two about creating who she is becoming, her desired life and is in an incredible new season of health & vitality.
While we have made some strategic adjustments to her schedule in addition to exercises she practices for longer term stamina and conditioning, she is still in process, and there are times where her voice can sound tired or raspy. It’s often for multi-factorial reasons.
Yet…People have, unsolicited, been saying to her:
“You’re not speaking your truth” or “it’s clear you have emotional blocks” when they hear the occasional tired or raspy sound. Naturally this is aggravating to her and completely presumptuous on their part.
I adore learning about and believe in quantum energetics, moving stuck emotions, as well as our innate healing abilities AND this is not always what impacts a voice. When you are a vocal athlete and REQUIRE your voice at such an intensive level of talking, there is a physical COST to that!
In a high performance voice like Kathleen’s, and many of my clients, this is where the physical, figurative, and intuitive all are explored.
Kathleen is a master of self-development and has been taking steps to condition her physical instrument. I applaud her proactive approach to caring for her voice, something that the majority ignore, take for granted, or judge themselves or others harshly for how they sound.
There is no place for shaming, gaslighting or pre-supposing what a person needs or is going through.
Consider this: No one would shame a basketball player and say “oh you injured your ankle, it must be because you aren’t walking in integrity/you are probably repressing something."
That injury is the physical toll of a high performance body.
Let’s break it down another way: If I say “My name is Brienne. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I have a daughter. We take care of a puppy. The women I serve are incredible humans who are on their self-growth path and ready to learn about their voices in a new way to enhance their wellness, communication and way of Being” Those are facts. That is my truth. I am in full alignment with those statements. No emotional wobble exists.
If I repeat that for 60 minutes, my voice would feel tired. Now, multiply that by 5 more hours (often how much my clients are speaking on intensive days) and I would be more fatigued, potentially even raspy. Now, compound that by having no knowledge of how the voice worked, no warm-ups, and no awareness of how to shift to a healthier production? That is a recipe for long-term injury.
This is why preventative voice wellness matters!
That raspy quality has nothing to do with what I said or my belief about it. It has to do with the physical load my voice sustained. Voice conditioning, just like an athlete physically conditions and optimizes the efficiency of their body to be at their best performance, takes practice, consistency, and is crucial for those whose livelihood depends on speaking day in and day out.
As I guide my clients, emotions are addressed. The voice is a barometer to possible underlying, unearthed issues.
AND, sometimes, it’s as simple as inefficient overuse. Period.
Another analogy, because why not: A woodworker who is sanding her carvings by hand, has the repetitive stress/strain of moving the sandpaper along the wood grain, which results in an ache in her wrist. She doesn't regularly stretch or strengthen her wrist or arm, yet notices the intensity of the ache vary depending on the duration of the sanding motion. Will you say that the ache is due to repressed emotional issues or blockage? No, that would be ridiculous. The voice is a repetitive use instrument. It can withstand phenomenal stress-strain friction on a daily basis AND repetitive motion injuries ARE a risk-factor for vocal athletes!
Before you assume what may be going on with someone and their voice changes, perhaps there needs to be closer, internal examination first. Pause, breathe, ASK if they need anything, and LISTEN. Don’t spill your assumptions out onto them without consent.
As our conversation continued, I witnessed her ‘edgy voice’, as she called it, still emanate clearly and resonant EVEN while showing her strong emotion, which is an improvement from months ago when her voice previously pushed from her throat.
Vocal athletes benefit from vocal conditioning, so their full range of emotion and essence is expressed in a healthy, sustainable way!
P.S. Vibrant Voice VIP Days are the perfect opportunity to jumpstart your voice journey for more reliability, expressiveness, stamina and truthful presence. Connect here or Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested and I’ll send a helpful PDF with the details.
You and your voice are worthy.
Voice Activator. Lover of the Larynx and Lake Life. On a mission to elevate women's self-worth & wellness via their voice. Delightful daughter, 1 MiniSchnauzer, and occasionally dabbles in professional voice-over (Me, not the dog). Always reminding you that You and Your Voice Are Worthy!