Fast Company: My Voice–Lost and Found

Raise your hand if you think talking is something you do without considering the mechanics of the process.  Well, until I lost my voice in early November, that’s what I thought.  And the very unscientific poll I’ve conducted since that fateful day confirms I was not alone in my ignorance.

Good news!  Two months later my voice is better than ever; however, I thought I’d share some of the surprising insights from the recovery process to help others avoid losing their voice—something most of us take for granted, including me!


First, the backstory.   I love to talk.  Anyone who knows me will confirm I’m a talker.  Whether it’s one-on-one, or delivering a speech to 500 people, talking is something that’s always come very naturally to me.  But, my voice has also been an Achilles heel.  If I get a cold, you can immediately hear it in my voice.  If I talk too much at a party, I feel it in my voice.  But it was never a major problem until the speech I gave in early November.

The room was beautiful, but the acoustics terrible.  The 300 people in the audience were eating lunch which wouldn’t normally be a problem, but the sound system wasn’t working very well.  The speaker who went before me struggled mightily to be heard throughout her presentation, so shouting was the only option.  I wasn’t worried because I have a loud voice, but I was fighting a cold and had just delivered five others speeches in the weeks prior.  So, I stepped to the podium and began to speak as loudly as possible.  About five minutes into the speech I felt a pull or “snap” in my throat.  (Click here for more)