After 40 years in broadcasting, Curt Gowdy still practices almost daily the voice exercises he learned from Boston voice therapist David Blair McClosky to assure a relaxed , professional sounding voice that's free of fatigue.
"The big problem for most people using their voices a lot is in the breathing and tension," says McClosky. "In their enthusiasm, they push down on their chest and that shoves extra air up against the back of the voice cords abd causes them to rub them too hard."
To resolve those problems, McClosky teaches clients relaxation and breathing exercises. While serious voice problems should receive professional treatment, here's a simple procedure McClosky and Gowdy recommend for anyone:
*Put yourself in a trance-like state, as if you're about to fall asleep.
*Relax totally. Let your jaw go limp. Let all the muscles in your face sag.
*Massage your face muscles gently, working down to the jaw and throat.
*Now, put your hands at your diaphragm and breath from the stomach, letting yourself sigh.
*Lighten your voice a little and get it resonating, almost humming the sounds "ma," "me," "may," "mo," "mu."
Gowdy then recommends reading poetry aloud to help diction. "That was my mother's idea," he says. "Read it with feeling. make that ocean roll. Put shading into your delivery, get the tones in there, put life in your words."