The other day a student was complaining about how they tired out their voice talking before a performance. Uhh…yeah. Because we have only one instrument of communication,(our voices), we need to preserve them. The best thing to do before a performance is to hide out and not talk at all. That being said, there are so many people that come to a show (and this includes friends as well as industry insiders), that we do feel responsible to talk with everyone.Here are some tips on speaking properly and safely: 1) Optimum pitch. You need to find the range that best suites your voice .Using a hum, as in “uh-hum” casually will help you find this pitch.Act as though someone was asking you something , and you agreed with a “uh-hum”. The pitch that the hum lands on repeatedly is your optimum pitch.. Again, optimum pitch is where your voice functions best range wise. 2) Pitch variation. So your voice works best around “f” below middle c? This doesn’t mean that you must speak monotone. Finding a melody in your speaking voice will help keep the folds free, and the listener interested.Think of speaking above and below the optimum pitch as if you were creating a melody. Remember to keep that “melody” centered around the O.P. 3) diaphragmatic breathing. As singers , we should always be focusing on breathing diaphragmatically. Its a healthier way to breath as well as being very helpful in good speech. See my previous blogs on breathing for help with this one. 4) Glide or legato. When you let words flow together, there is less work for your vocal tract in trying to constantly find the placement . Let your words glide into each other, stopping only for dramatic pauses, and to take a breath obviously. 5) Words per breath. We function best with somewhere between six and nine words per breath depending on the words, the breath, and the person saying them. By randomly counting your words, you’ll start to get a feel for the right amount of words per breath that works best for you. Those are some vital tips for the speaking singer,(and the speaker themselves for that matter). Use them wisely and use DolceVoce honey/lemon throat spray. Great for dry mouths and tired voices.