4 Easy Steps To Eliminate Your Performance Anxiety and Maintain Great Vocal Health 

As an actor, singer or public speaker, you know how important it is to have a strong and healthy voice. Your voice is your most valuable tool, allowing you to express emotions, tell stories, and connect with your audience. However, there's a hidden danger that can threaten the health of your voice: performance anxiety.

Performance anxiety is a common experience for many actors, singers and public speakers. It's that feeling of nervousness, stress, dizziness and nausea that you get before going on-stage or in front of a microphone. Your breathing may quicken and your muscles tense. While some level of excitement can be a good thing, helping you stay focused and energized, too much anxiety may lead to vocal damage if not properly managed.

When you're anxious, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can cause your muscles to tense up. This tension can affect your breathing and vocal production, leading to strained or forced vocalizations. Over time, this can lead to vocal fatigue, hoarseness, and even vocal nodules or polyps, which are growths on the vocal folds.

In addition to the physical effects, performance anxiety can also affect your mental and emotional well-being. It can cause you to doubt your abilities, become overly self-critical, and lose confidence in your voice. This can lead to a vicious cycle where your anxiety worsens, leading to more vocal strain and damage.

So, what can you do to prevent performance anxiety from damaging your voice? Here are some tips:

  1. Practice relaxation techniques: Before a performance or recording session, take time to relax your body and mind. Work with deep breathing and meditation exercises to prepare yourself for moments of increased stress.
  2.  Warm up your voice: Take the time to warm up your voice before performing or recording. This can help prevent strain and damage.
  3. Warm up your body: Your voice is your instrument but it's connected to your body. Stretching and yoga offer incredible results to manage stress and open the body up for performance.
  4. Address your anxiety: If you're experiencing performance anxiety, it's important to address it head-on. Working with a voice coach to learn and practice healthy techniques will empower you as an actor, singer or public speaker. The more prepared and empowered you feel, the less likely you'll experience the thoughts that trigger your anxiety. Exposing yourself to what triggers you with your vocal coach is a safe and effective way to start working through your fears. 

At Inner Wild Voice, I specialize in helping actors, singers and public speakers alike develop the confidence and skills to tackle performance anxiety and take control of their career. Feel free to reach out on my consultation form to schedule your first session. Together we can help you reach your goals and eliminate your performance anxiety while building your skills and tools as a performer.

Instantly Transform Your Singing Voice 

So you want to learn the easiest way to improve your singing or talking voice? The good news is there are a few instant tips to help singers improve immediately without any practice - if they can maintain it. The bad news is singing takes practice and LOTS of it but if you love to sing that won't really be a problem and is most likely why you are a budding vocalist.

While there are many reasons vocalists are unhappy with their voice or struggle with control while singing, the most common encounter I have with new singers is where they are placing their sound. Vocal resonance or "placement" is where we are projecting and feeling the vibration of our sound we are creating with our vocal cords.

What does this mean? Okay, so try this. Give us your best impression of a jolly old Santa Claus saying "Ho! Ho Ho!" I bet you rounded out your voice by placing your sound farther back in your mouth and as a result the sound not only got round but also sounded further away. This isn't "wrong" per se but it isn't very helpful to most singing styles. (Don't come at me, jazz singers. We're not there yet.) Singing with your resonance getting muddled and muted in the back of the mouth creates all sorts of issues for singers and actors trying to get the most out of their sound.

So next let's have you say "Me, Me, Me!" like a little toddler or I like to think of a talking bee. Whatever image works for you, we just want to bring that sound and vibration forward and into the face. You can place your fingers on your cheekbones closer to the center line by your nose and hopefully you can feel the resonance now in your mask. (aka face, bone structure...aka "singers be like...")

So now that you can feel the difference between these two placements of sound, now let's use "Me" as our anchor into the feeling and replace your song lyrics with the words "Me" instead. (I'll be doing a Tik Tok on this so go ahead and follow me on the socials to get video examples of these blogs.) After you've internalized the feeling of their new placement on your melody, try to bring back the original lyrics while maintaining the mask placement. If you feel yourself sliding into "Santa Claus placement" alternate your lyrics with the "me" sound until you can maintain the feeling. 

For most people this will be an instant transformation in their singing. Congrats! If you are still struggling with this concept or want to be sure you are practicing this method correctly, go ahead and reach out to me about singing or voice and speech lessons. There are a ton of other exercises that I can introduce you to that may "resonate" with you more. Yes, I just made a dad joke. You're welcome.

Thanks for hanging out! Don't forget to subscribe to my socials and I hope to have you join my voice studio here in Atlanta or online!