Don’t lose it: 5 tips for taking care of your voice

As a broadcaster, there are bound to be many times in your career where your voice feels weak or tired. Maybe you are doing play-by-play for multiple games each day at a tournament, you're hosting a three or four hour talk show, or you are anchoring a sportscast when you are feeling under the weather.

taking care of your voice

Here are four top tips for taking care of your voice:

1. Rest

When you know your broadcasting schedule is going to get especially hectic, be sure to get plenty of rest. I know -- it is such a logical point that it shouldn't need to be said, but it's surprising how many broadcasters take it for granted.

2. Hydration

Sip water throughout your broadcast to keep your throat moist and your voice strong. I do stress sipping, though. It might be awhile before you get a rest room break.

Bonus Tip: Play-by-Play Broadcaster Lee Mowen marks hydration points on a gallon jug for long, multi-game days.

3. Avoid coffee and soda

Caffeine and soda pop can irritate your stomach and your vocal cords so avoid drinking them while on the air. The carbonation in soda won't do you any favors either.

4. Cough drops

Not just any cough drops, though. Fisherman's Friend and Hall's Breezers are most commonly recommended by sportscasters.

5. Earl Grey tea

I saved the best tip for last. Broadcasters with tired or scratchy voices swear by Earl Grey. The magic ingredient is oil extracted from the rind of bergamot oranges. It's WD40 for your vocal cords and it tastes good.

What are your tips for keeping your voice healthy? Please share them below.

7 Comments

  1. Adam Hildebrandt

    I’m sort of picky about what I drink, and admittedly I’ve never tried Earl Grey so I may very well like it, but something that has helped me is peppermint tea. It opens up the throat and nose and I find it very soothing. I’ve been drinking it before every game and its actually cut down on my cough drop consumption during the broadcasts!

  2. Chet Novak

    Earl Grey Black Tea. (There’s decaffeinated also.) There are several Earl Grey flavors but I don’t know if the others have the same oil of bergamot. A couple cup’s worth in a contigo thermos (actually keeps tea hot to warm throughout back to back broadcasts) helps, but having one or two cups earlier in the day works well also. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/da62c7aafab0b4eb35b9341655f8427697a07912d47677501eed42757b82844b.jpg

    • Jon Chelesnik

      Hi Chet — It’s been quite some time since we’ve been in touch. Great to hear from you.

      I wasn’t familiar with Earl Grey black. Thank you for sharing the tip and for visiting our blog. I appreciate both!

  3. Jon Chelesnik

    Thank you to Mitch Shapiro for sharing the following suggestions via email…

    1) Dr. Tichenor’s Peppermint Mouthwash mixed with some water is magical. Saved me many a time.

    2) Honey and lemon juice combo on a spoon is very soothing for a scratchy throat. Just wanted to share!

  4. Jon Chelesnik

    Here is another recommendation, via email, from one of the voices of the New York Mets, Wayne Randazzo…

    The first football game I ever called for ESPNU came on a day when I had no voice. A friend of a friend was a singer, and she suggested I drink Aloe Vera juice to soothe my throat. She said singers use that stuff all the time. It tastes disgusting, but it worked wonders as it got me through an overtime game. I couldn’t talk during breaks, but I had at least just enough to get through the broadcast. I drank half of a large bottle, and I haven’t tasted it again since. In a real pinch though, it does the job.

  5. Jon Chelesnik

    This one is from Twitter…

    Lemon echinacea tea with a few tablespoons of honey before a game will have you good the entire broadcast.

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