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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!

Lost

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)