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+00:00August 3rd, 2015|Overall Health, Speaker, Storytelling|3 Comments

About the Author:

How many speakers leave you with memorable life lessons, motivating a life-perspective adjustment, a catalyst for real change? As a professional interactive performance artist, I have stage presence, charisma, a deep vibrant voice, and a message worth your time. I'm too busy to waste my time or yours with talk that cannot be applied personally and professionally in an immediate way. I performed ‘A Story NOT Silenced by Oral Cancer’ Off-Broadway in New York City to a sold-out audience, I founded the Six-Step Screening™ oral cancer awareness campaign, authored two books: ‘Mr. C Plays Hide & Seek’ and ‘Mr. C the Globetrotter,’ to empower children with coping skills and communication strategies when someone they love has cancer, and created ‘My Story Legacy,’ a creative format to document family stories, life values and wisdom for future generations. Share this link with friends/colleagues who participate in conferences in need of a speaker who will rock the house! EvaGrayzel.com


  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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