It's the middle of December and the holidays are creeping up on us. If you're dreading the mall and stumped on what to get for the public speaker, actor, or other voice user (spoiler: that's pretty much all of us) in your life, maybe some of these gift suggestions will help.
The Stocking Stuffer
Slippery Elm Lozenges are the secret weapon of opera singers around the world! They keep your vocal cords lubricated, without the harmful numbing agents of many commercial throat lozenges and sprays.
The Retro Cool
A sinus and vocal steamer may not be the sexiest gift on this list (that comes later), but steam has been the most effective way to rehydrate and keep your vocal cords lubricated for centuries for a reason. No need to use fancy essential oils. Just a little hot water and you're good to go. This gift is very popular with many of my students who travel to deliver presentations.
Myofascial release may feel like a buzzword, but if you work in an office, you know how much tension you carry in your neck and shoulders. Personal massage balls can relax these muscles, which then loosens the muscles in your jaw and throat, getting you ready to give that amazing talk.
Runner up for least sexy (but super useful) gift on this list is a night guard. If you've got a teeth grinder in the house, you know how much muscle pain and tension they live with, and that strain makes it hard to speak effectively, especially to an audience.
Humidity on the Go
If your speaker travels frequently, they know how dry hotel and conference rooms can be. A portable humidifier fits easily in a suitcase, and many now plug in with a USB cable, making them extra easy to operate, even at the office.
Go Out On a Leaf
Winner for the (potentially) sexiest gift on this list, the Leaf Life Vibrator fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, and can be used to relax muscles in your neck and jaw. Just be careful though, if you click on the link above. It doesn't go to Amazon, and some of the other products on the linked site are not suitable for work viewing ;)
For the reader in your life, I really can't recommend a book more highly than Freeing The Natural Voice, by my mentor, Kristin Linklater. This is a great reference that touches on topics like the mechanics of the voice and obstacles of spontaneous, effective vocal expression, and provides detailed exercises for developing and strengthening the voice as a human and actor's instrument.
This gift guide is going out to SHINE email subscribers next week too, and we have more great content like this planned for 2020. If you'd like them delivered straight to your inbox, click here to sign up!