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Professional Voice Users Presented by: Nikki Tessari.

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Presentation on theme: "Professional Voice Users Presented by: Nikki Tessari."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professional Voice Users Presented by: Nikki Tessari

2 Professional Voice Users Anyone who requires a certain voice quality to have an effect on others This includes public speakers and singers If voice is damaged within these professionals: it can be detrimental to their careers and how they are perceived by those around them

3 Professional Voice Users Professional speaking voice falls into two categories: NormativeEmotive More likely to have problems related to abuse from overuse Often use their voices to motivate or encourage others to engage in some kind of activity Includes: Telephone operators, telemarketers, TV and radio broadcasters, executives, and teachers Includes: Conductors, actors, ministers, politicians, aerobic instructors, drill instructors, and athletic coaches

4 Common Problems They put ridiculous demands on their voices Little tolerance for illnesses and unrealistic expectations: “the show must go on” Many have inadequate and inappropriate training Singers and Actors may have two jobs: leads to excessive vocalization Posture issues

5 Demands of Various Careers Telemarketers Boredom and fatigue along with psychological problems of constant rejection Poor posture from sitting in inappropriate chairs with no headset No training in breath support Broadcasters Worked in fixed head/body position Lower-pitched voice to sound forceful In dirty and dusty studios for long stressful hours Don’t take many sick days Salesmen Perform under pressure: no sales=no income Carry heavy bags through the airport Spend hours in airplanes with dry air and loud background noise Teachers Work in old musty environment No amplification Often present to a nonreceptive audience=stress

6 Bogart-Bacall Syndrome James A Koufman, M.D. Named after Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall Condition most common in singers, actors, and radio and TV personalities These people speak with a fundamental frequency that is too low, poor breath support, and laryngeal muscle tension Causes muscle tension dysphonia Distinguishing characteristics: Walter Cronkite to Peter Jennings More common in women: social pressure to compete with men

7 Vocal Abuse, Misuse, and Overuse Abuse Yelling, screaming, and singing loudly Causes nodules, contact ulcers, and vocal fold swelling Avoid screaming at all times: when performing and not performing Abuse with professionals is inappropriate and neglectful Misuse More habitual: speaking out of range and character voices (BBS) If they sound like they are straining, they are: point out the obvious Overuse Can happen to anyone: individuals must know their limit Most common when suffering from infection/virus

8 General Voice Problems Aging Takes more effort to stay fit as you age Pressure to work later in life: living longer, social security, breakdown of family Dentures, tongue thinning, TMJ, posture, hearing loss Accidental Injuries Be safe: use seatbelts and common sense Abusive Injuries Drinking, smoking, drug use

9 General Voice Problems (cont’d) Infections/Diseases Head colds, tonsillitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia all can damage a career Limit exposure by avoiding closed, crowded, poorly ventilated spaces: such as elevators Alter lifestyle to prevent lung cancer and high blood pressure Medication Can have effects such as: drying, sedation, mood changes, and anxiety Drink lots of water

10 Treatment for the Professional Voice User 1. Preventative care/ Vocal hygiene 2. Instructional care for maximal performance 3. Reversal of dysfunction and pathology

11 Vocal Hygiene Proper care and use of the vocal mechanism: preventatives Increased vocal cord lubrication Nasal breathing: so air can be filtered, purified, and properly humidified by the nose and sinuses Avoid irritants, smoking, heavy drinking, and dust Use diaphragm breathing Maximize relaxation throughout body Identify and avoid vocal abuse Use easy on-set phonation

12 Instructional Care This is for the professional who wants to maximize his/her vocal function: range, pitch, loudness Inform about all aspects of: Vocal hygiene Normal phonatory process/ vocal mechanism Breathing techniques May obtain information from a SLP for goals and techniques to work on

13 Reversal of Dysfunction and Pathology Must first see laryngologist to rule out a laryngeal pathology The SLP will be working with hyperfunctional/ hypofunctional activity in the vocal mechanism Must identify the poor vocal behaviors and work to eliminate them If therapy is not effective, the client may develop nodules or polyps

14 A Team Approach May all work together to preserve a career: despite less than perfect health Professionals include Primary Physician Otolaryngologist Speech-Language Pathologist Voice Coach Job Supervisor

15 The Speech-Language Pathologist’s Role After the client has been examined by the laryngologist, the SLP must: Take baseline voice documentation Do an acoustical voice analysis Perform therapeutic manipulation: “unloading” Therapy done to remove any temporarily compensatory vocal behaviors Obtain optimal breath support Soften the hardness of glottal attack Reduce the rate of speaking Reduce laryngeal and neck muscle tension Make an independent diagnosis Perform speech/voice therapy Determine dismissal criteria

16 What the Patient Needs A caring professional who understands that their voice is their career An understanding of their weaknesses, their diseases, and their medications Should be encouraged to take as few risks as possible, exercise regularly, get plenty of rest, and minimize stress This information and treatment should lead to a long career as a professional voice user!!

17 Resources Mitchell, S.A. (1996). Medical problems of professional voice users. Comprehensive therapy, 22, Koufman, J.A., Blalock, D.P. (1988). Vocal fatigue and dysphonia in the professional voice user: bogart-bacall syndrome. Laryngoscope, 98, Neely, J.L., Rosen, C. (2000). Vocal fold hemorrhage associated with coumadin therapy in an opera singer. Journal of Voice, 14, Rarnalingam, R. (1997). Care of the professional voice. Help, Health Library. Retrieved on April 19, 2003 from, Watts, C.R., Clark, R., & Early, S. (2001). Acoustic measures of phonatory improvement secondary to treatment by oral corticosteroids in a professional singer: a case report. Journal of Voice, 15, Wate Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Center for Voice Disorders. Retrieved on April 19, 2003, from


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