With 32 caucuses and primaries in little more than a month, this year’s presidential candidates have done nothing but strain their vocal cords. Each day puts them at another rally, press conference, fund raiser or debate. They stand, take a microphone if available, and project until their voices, so exhausted from overuse, fail. They are rendered hoarse, ahem-ing through their sentences and desperate for a quick fix, something to tide them over until they can (in six or seven months) rest silently. You, sitting in your living room listening to the raspy hopefuls, may feel a pang of empathy. After all, your own voice isn’t all the strong right now, either.
You caught a cold a few weeks ago, and your voice has yet to return to normal; you disagreed with a few too many calls last Sunday and are still paying for your Super Bowl screaming; or you have a touch of acid reflux that seems to be affecting your vocal cords. Whatever the cause, you are hoarse, and you’d rather not be, because you need your voice. No, you don’t have six press conferences and a three-hour debate in your future but you do have a presentation, several phone calls to make and three kids to scold. So, how do you get it back?
The possibilities are endless. You could follow in John McCain’s footsteps and swallow a spoonful of olive oil an hour before you next have to speak. You could try Barack Obama’s elixir of hot water, lemon, honey and ginger. You could take the “drink fluids” advice to an extreme as Bill Clinton did when he ran, and down a gallon and a half of water each day. Or, you could heed the advice in the following list and be sure to get your voice back before your 9am presentation:
• Avoid coffee, chocolate, alcohol and mint
• Stay away from the spicy foods
• Limit smoke – first and secondhand
• Drink plenty of fluids
• Don’t whisper; hum
• Keep your vocal cords warm whether you’re inside or out
• And above all, rest; silence is golden