5 Ways to Improve Your Speaking Stamina
Whether it is television, radio, motivational speaker, spokesperson, these professions require stamina. What is stamina? Stamina is the ability to sustain physical and mental presence. I recall one particular evening during one of my radio shows, the power went out! I was in the studio, seated in the dark. I refrained from allowing it to show through my voice and continued conversing with the guest. Fortunately, my computer was fully charged so I did not skip a beat. The guest, the audience had no idea, I was sitting in the dark in a studio by myself not knowing why the lights went out. There were no alarms, the studio security officer was not knocking on the door, complete silence. I sent a message to my engineer and told him that I needed to go to break and he may need to play a couple of songs as well as commercials. I needed to find out why I was in the dark? Did I need to evacuate the building? During that commercial break, the lights did come back on, it was just a power outage. Someone in the building tripped a fuse. Again, the audience was none the wiser. Stamina!
Pre-pandemic, I was struggling with a bad cough, headache, just was not feeling well at all. About an hour before show time, I took some meds, cough suppressant, hot tea with lemon and did not speak for most of the day. Why? I was saving my voice for radio show that evening. Throughout the show I felt like……! You can fill in the blank! Again, pressed my way through and did not skip a beat.
And then there are the shows that were done live from the U.K. The U. K is 5 or 6 hours ahead of the East coast depending on daylight savings time. That means I was going on air at 1:30AM European time! Yes, radio, television, motivational speaker, spokesperson, all require a degree of stamina.
How do you obtain and maintain stamina? Just some personal thoughts and not an exhaustive list of suggestions:
Exercise! I know! You all are probably thinking that all I ever emphasize is exercise because I work out so much. Exercise will increase your stamina! Just like an athlete. If you find yourself having to conduct back-to-back interviews after you have gotten off an airplane in a different time zone (jet lag), you need all the help you can get!
Diet! Yes, we are what we eat. Eat healthy (fruits, vegetables, protein, water, etc.)
Practice! Practice! Practice! Yes, When I am washing dishes, cleaning the house, driving, etc., I am practicing. I practice my intros, outros, I pretend I am interviewing someone! If you are a motivation speaker, spokesperson, or other public figure, do the same by practicing your speeches or talking points.
Breathing exercises: Have you ever noticed when someone is speaking on a microphone, you may hear a lot of breathy speech? Sometimes, it is due to the lack of breathing exercises. Ok, I know, yes, we have to breathe. But we, as public speakers, must learn how to breath effectively during our speaking. A lot of what is heard audibly is through ear buds, Bluetooth, etc. The next time you are listening to a podcast, audiobook, or other audio file, listen for the rhythm of the person speaking. Is there a lot of breath in between their words? A good way to practice is to find a script that is 15-30 secs long. See if you can read it aloud without taking a breath. If you can get through at least 15 secs without hyperventilating, that is a good start. If not, do not distress, just simply practice breathing exercises to extend your ability to deliver passages without too much breathiness.
Tongue Twisters: These can be fun and frustrating at the same time. The jaw area is to speech what the muscles are to an athlete. Warm up with some tongue twisters. A sample: Peter Piper the pickled pepper picker, picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper, the pickled pepper picker picked a peck of pickled peppers…how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper the pickled pepper picker pick?” Massage the jaw area to loosen the jaw area so your words flow freely from your lips. Stretch your voice with humming as high and as low as you can. Just a few suggestions. I think vocal warmups goes unrecognized and provides great value in the process of stamina.
These are just a few suggestions that I hope will help you on your journey to becoming the best possible you in your chosen field as a public figure. Embrace the journey!
I am Paula G Voice! I am a sagacious independent lifestyle influencer. I am embracing my own journey and sharing experiences along the way. I am challenging dreamers to do the same by breathing life into their deferred dreams and living out the reality! It is never too late to embrace your journey and live your dreams! Visit Paula’s Blog at www.paulagvoice.com for the full journey.
When it comes to public speaking what is your greatest challenge?
The challenges of public speaking can be overcome with practice and persistence.
Prepare a speech, spoken word piece, reflection, or essay!
Select an audience, that will give you honest and constructive feedback, to present it to