This last weekend, I had the honor of serving as the Emcee for Bubble Run Denver 2019. Bubble Run is a nation-wide family fun event and helps support various charities in different cities throughout the USA. This particular Bubble Run help support "One Child", a local charity that aids and supports kids and family that face serious medical struggles and hardships. Their mission is one of emotional, physical, financial, and at times spiritual hope and love.
The 2019 Bubble brought close to 25,000 kids and adults to the Great Lawn Park in Denver, the weather was amazing but hot. As a public speaker, it is a joy and honor to serve as emcee for events like this. As a public speaker and broadcaster, I have learned a lot about how to bring energy and passion to the microphone without blowing out my voice. The Bubble Run was another such event where it could have hurt my voice, but it didn't, because I know how to protect vocal cords. Here are 5 tips for speakers that may have to speak for several hours non-stop.
Top 5 Bubble Run Vocal Tips
1. Stay Hydrated
This is a big one and sometimes missed because speakers get wrapped up in doing the event. Liquids are extremely important! They help your vocal cords of course, but fluids also help keep you physically hydrated. If you emcee or broadcast any event outside, your body will be affected. Drink up, so you don't pass out, cramp up, or pay for it physically a day or two later.
2. No Caffeine
This is a big one and sometimes missed because we all have our favorite go-to drinks, and love or morning coffee. Liquids are so important, but caffeine can be a killer. I can remember the first year I called 16 basketball games in four days at the Minnesota Boys State Championship. I was drinking Mt. Dew like crazy. I thought I was keeping my vocal cords cool and hydrated. Thankfully, a TV broadcaster sitting next to told me some important career advice on day two of the tournament. He told me how caffeine actually tightens the vocal cords and makes your body work harder. He warned me I could blow my voice out, and that my voice was my career and livelihood.
From that day forward my Mt. Dew intake dropped and I went caffeine free on all game days, and speaking events. Protect your voice, or you will not have one. Go no caffeine. no coffee on speaking event days.
3. NO Screaming, but bring excitement
Your voice is an instrument. You can beat on it or learn to use it to its full potential. It may seem hard to express passion and excitement without screaming...but it can be done. Training yourself to use your vocal muscles, tone, pitch, and volume in various ways will save your voice. One big thing to remember is to always use the microphone more than you use a screaming voice. By learning when to lean into the mic at the right time, pull back, raise follow of your voice in the mic, but not scream is an important technique to learn.
4. Honey, please
Honestly, I am not normally a big honey fan. Growing up I did not enjoy the taste of honey. Now as a professional broadcaster and motivational speaker I have embraced the healing power of honey and full endorse and use it. Honey in a warm drink can be a life savior as it soothes your vocal cords. Honey in the form of throat drops is gold. Be sure to always have some sort of throat drops or honey drops in your go-bag. Warning - DON'T OVER USE THEM, but have the to help protect, or heal your voice. Rather, remember to train your voice.
5. Pace Yourself
As an emcee or public speaker, you must learn to pace yourself while doing an event and how many events you do. In baseball, pitchers are on a pitching rotation. This rotation is set by the manager and is designed to protect a pitcher throwing arm. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Too many days in a row on the pitching mound can ruin a pitcher throwing arm and end a career early. The same is true with those of us that use our voices for a living. Singers, broadcasters, a motivational speaker must intentionally have "off days". Yes, you may pass on a gig now and again...but you will be better for it. You will be better physically, emotionally, and relationship-wise. Remember it's about a career, not a one-time event. Be professional and guard your voice.
Rich "Trigger" Bontrager is a motivational speaker, leadership coach, broadcaster, Pastor and UNOS Ambassador on a mission to help you, "DEFY THE ODDS in life, leadership & public speaking. You can reach Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org