Avoid Exhaustion to Prevent Burnout

Dec 9, 2016 at 10:41am

Fatigue is the fastest way to shorten your voice acting career and spinning your wheels is a guarantee for burnout. Consider these tips to avoid vocal exhaustion and mental burnout because the pipes affect the performance. 

Put Junk In, Get Junk Out

As with any activity in life, eating good food (such as whole grain, fruits, and vegetables) is the first step to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Also, be aware of your spicy food consumption because this increases the acid your stomach produces, which can move into your throat causing heartburn and hoarseness. 

Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day and limit your alcohol and caffeine intake to increase your vocal cord's longevity. In addition, don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke as these irritate the vocal cords and can cause long-term damage. 

When you're fighting illness or allergies, be aware of the medications you take as many can dry out your throat and nose causing changes in your vocal range. And always consult a otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) if vocal trouble continues for more than two weeks. Getting plenty of rest - especially prior to a voice acting gig - will also help ensure your best work.

Engage the Transmission

A motorcycle’s transmission is a system of gears that adjust to the ratio of engine speed to wheel speed, allowing an engine to be useful across a wide range of speeds. To engage your voice and maximize your vocal range, consider these warm up exercises. 

Breath control will enhance your speaking and increase your stamina. Try this exercise to boost your breath awareness:

  1. Sit with your feet flat on the ground and your shoulders back. 
  2. Place your hand on your stomach just above your bellybutton.
  3. As you breathe in and out your abdomen will expand and contract, a movement controlled by your     diaphragm.
  4. As you continue breathing, make sure your upper body (chest, neck, and shoulders) remain still. This means your core is stable and your voice projection will improve.

Stretching - not only your face and neck, but your whole body - will release tension, reduce stress, and refocus your energy. Start with the large muscles and work your way to the smaller ones, such as your facial muscles by yawning, puckering up, lifting your eyebrows, and making silly faces.

Lip trills release tension in your vocal cords and connects your breathing to your speaking. Try this exercise: 

  1. Take a deep breath and release the air with your lips placed loosely together to create a trill or raspberry sound.
  2. Repeat using a “h” sound followed by a “b” sound.
  3. Keep the sound steady each time and steadily move the air past your lips.
  4. After you have mastered each sound, repeat the sounds while gently gliding up and down the scales to increase your vocal control.  

Tongue trills relax the tongue and connects your breathing to your voice. Try this exercise: 

  1. Place your tongue behind your upper teeth.
  2. Exhale while trilling your tongue with a “r” sound.
  3. Work to keep the sound steady and your breath connected throughout the exercise.
  4. While trilling, vary the pitch up and down to increase your vocal range. 

Use a combination of these exercises to create a routine that is comfortable for you and will sharpen your focus. And don’t forget to cool down after extensive vocal use. Humming gently on the “m” sound while gliding from a high to a low pitch is an easy way to cool down while controlling your pitch.

Keep the Shiny Side Up 

Avoid vocal extremes, such as yelling and whispering, to prevent overusing your voice. When you have an upcoming voice acting gig, be intentional about having less conversation and more quiet periods. Be aware of your day-to-day posture because hunching over a desk can strain your neck muscles and standing for long periods can strain your back muscles, all of which will take away from your vocal energy and focus. If you have additional questions or concerns, hiring a professional voice instructor will help you learn more proper techniques and prevent injury. 

Protecting your voice comes down to monitoring your environment and your behavior because, unlike motorcycles, vocal cords are delicate and irreplaceable.

Are you interested in blipping the throttle of your latest voiceover project? Do you need assistance articulating the why statement of your business? Give us a call at 701-232-3393 or visit

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