Speaker Hoarseness: Vocal Hygiene

My frequent hoarseness drove me to see a specialist to rule out cancer with a laryngoscopy. Then, I had 8 sessions with a speech pathologist who specialized in ‘Vocal Hygiene,’ (I love that title) for preservation and healthy maintenance of the voice. My hoarseness improved even on days when I went in with a hoarse voice. We explored exercises in pitch, resonance and respiration.

Some people say they like the hoarse deep quality of my voice. I know that when the hoarseness begins, and I continue to speak, it begins to hurt more and get worse. My vocal hygiene coach said, ‘Get your voice out of the basement.’ I had a tendency to let it drop very low which causes the vocal chords to vibrate harshly which caused further irritation.

I don’t want to be the kind of speaker that everyone watches as they take a drink of water. Instead, my vocal hygienist suggested I schedule drinks throughout my talk, in spots that a pause enhances the message. Good advice!

By | 2016-10-14T15:18:13+00:00 August 3rd, 2015|Overall Health, Speaker, Storytelling|3 Comments

About the Author:

Eva Grayzel, a nationally recognized Master Storyteller and performance artist, was diagnosed at age 33 with stage IV oral cancer and given a 15% chance of survival. After regaining her deep vibrant voice, Eva applied her stage skills to communicate the depth of her experience in a unique and powerful way. For over a decade, Eva has captivated dental professionals worldwide using her story as a catalyst for change. She performed ‘Tongue-Tied’ Off-Broadway in New York City to a sold-out audience. A champion for early detection, Eva founded the Six-Step Screening™ oral cancer awareness campaign, for which she was recognized by the American Academy of Oral Medicine. She is the author of ‘Mr. C Plays Hide & Seek’ and ‘Mr. C the Globetrotter.’ In 2017, she created ‘My Story Legacy,’ a creative format to document family stories, life values and wisdom for future generations.


  1. Tom March 4, 2017 at 10:21 am - Reply

    awesome advice thank you

  2. Tom March 4, 2017 at 10:27 am - Reply

    I myself am a 4 year base of tongue cancer survivor. Love that Eva is 16 years out and doing well! That is so awesome. I am having surgery on my vocal cords to help me. I am going to go back to see the speech therapist like she did and hopefully get the same results.

    • Eva Grayzel March 5, 2017 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Where are you having the surgery? My father lost his voice completely from a thyroid cancer that invaded his trachea and paralyzed one vocal chord. Doctors recommended stimulation of the vocal chord which would be temporary but could give him his voice back for maybe 3 months if it works, but he chose not to do it. He is 85 years old.

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