By Julia Kuhn, MS CCC-SLP
It happens every year. You are one day into TravCon festivities and your normally strong and boisterous voice turns into a hoarse, froggy chirp. You lost your voice at TravCon and you still have one to two days to converse with all of the exhibitors and attendees.
This doesn’t have to happen.
Whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee, there can be a lot of stress placed on your voice at a big event like TravCon. The talking, late nights, and coffee breaks can lead to a hoarse voice, but it doesn’t have to.
Aside from being TravCon’s social media coordinator, I am also a licensed speech-language pathologist and am here to provide some tips to help keep your voice healthy at TravCon this year.
Drinks LOTS of Water
I can’t stress enough how important it is to drink water. Water hydrates your vocal folds and provides lubrication that helps to prevent strain.
It is important to drink water BEFORE talking, as well as after. Drinking water before you speak preps your vocal folds prior to using them. I recommend drinking water before going into the exhibit hall and prior to any party or activity where you know you will be talking a lot.
Because water is very expensive inside of The Paris and the tap water is extremely chlorinated, I recommend bringing water from home or buying some in Las Vegas. There is a CVS located directly in front of The Paris, which offers decent-priced water bottles.
While water helps to hydrate your voice, there are other substances that do the opposite, and can irritate your voice. The most common are:
- Spicy Foods
- Anything that causes you heartburn/GERD
So, instead of that afternoon coffee, grab a glass of cold water instead. Also, at parties where there is an open bar (like our AfterParty) you can alternate between an alcoholic drink and water. Or, eliminate the irritants altogether.
Avoid Coughing, Throat-Clearing, Yelling, and Whispering
These behaviors can all cause irritation to the vocal cords. If you start to lose your voice and have a tickle in your throat, it might feel good to cough or clear your throat. Instead of coughing or throat-clearing, try swallowing your saliva instead. Or, use a throat lozenge, or drink some water to relieve an itchy or dry feeling.
Also, be aware of the volume of your voice. Make sure you speak within your normal range of voice. Especially when we are wearing masks, it can be a natural instinct to raise our voice to more of a yell. Be aware of your vocal loudness and talk at a normal level.
Take a Vocal Rest Break
Remember to let your voice rest and take a break. When you’re not at an event, try to relax in your room, drink water, and let your voice (as well as your whole body) rest.
Author Bio: Julia Kuhn, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist with over 10 years of experience in the travel healthcare industry. She is the social media coordinator for TravCon and teaches therapists how to travel. You can find her at www.thetravelingtraveler.com