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Question #90170 posted on 07/29/2017 11:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I recently started giving trainings at my work. I talk for 30 to 90 minutes straight, and usually end up with a sore throat at the end.

It's not really that long to talk, so I feel like there must be something I can do to be able to talk for up to 90 minutes and not make my throat hurt. I do a training every other week, but sometimes more often.

Any advice?

-Not much of a talker

A:

Dear Training,

I would advise taking time to drink throughout your training. Also, maybe you can find ways to include participation from other employees during your training so that you don't have to talk the entire time.

For me, a 90 minute training isn't very effective, so maybe limiting your time talking would help as well. 

Sore throats stink!

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear Talk,

I used to read to a blind lady every night for a minimum of thirty minutes, and oftentimes longer. I very quickly learned, like you, that there is a huge difference between holding a long conversation, and just straight talking for an extended period of time. Some things that helped me were eating and drinking beforehand (I never paused in my reading for long enough to drink while talking), and sucking on something.

I'd also suggest experimenting with different ways of speaking. Like, it's possible to alter your pitch, timbre, frequency of letting words blend into each other, etc. I found that switching up how I spoke helped my throat to last for longer. 

Finally, if you're like me, it will get easier with practice. The more you get used to speaking for prolonged amounts of time, the easier it will become.

~Anathema

A:

Dear Walky-Talky,

Seriously, drink lots of water. Bring a water bottle to the presentation and stop periodically to take a swig, but also make sure you're staying hydrated in general, because that helps a lot.

Sucking on cough drops helps, too. I've found that ones with menthol work really well for soothing my throat, even if it's just sore from having to talk a lot, and if you just keep the cough drop tucked away in the side of your cheek (chipmunk style), it shouldn't interfere with your talking too much.

I also really like SNB's advice to try bringing in more active participation from others to give your throat a small break. Breaking up the talking will probably make the people listening pay more attention, and will also help your throat feel better. It can be hard thinking of ways to integrate others when you're the expert who's supposed to be presenting something, but with a little bit of creativity you should be able to manage it! You could even just show a short video clip about halfway through the presentation to give your throat a break.

I've had to give presentations that last quite a while, so I definitely know the throat fatigue you're talking about, and this is what I've found to be most effective. Good luck out there!

-Alta

A:

Dear you,

This happens to me all the time. If I ever have to talk straight, my voice gives out after 10 minutes.

I've found that water really helps, particularly filtered water. There's something about tap water that seems to irritate rather than soothe.

I've heard that talking to a doctor about this might help. I have yet to do it myself, but apparently there are some fixable issues that could be the cause.

-Kirito