Giving Voices UK create animation with nine tips to help people look after their voices when video conferencing.

By Mr Shamim Quadir(Senior Communications Officer), Published (Updated )

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen unprecedented numbers of people staying at home, working from home, and using online digital technologies to communicate with colleagues, friends and family.

Video conferencing has become a mainstay of how people have kept in touch, with some calling this the ‘Zoom Boom’ generation, in reference to the popularity of the video conferencing app, Zoom, which has seen a meteoric rise in usage.

However, with wider adoption of new technologies come more reports of challenges when using them.

Nine tips to look after your voice

Dr Abi Roper is a Speech and Language Technologist and Research Fellow at City, University of London. Through discussion with speech and language colleagues on Twitter, she became aware of an increasing number of reports of voice problems associated with use of video conferencing during lockdown.

In collaboration with those colleagues, she has produced a list of nine tips for looking after ones voice whilst video conferencing, which the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist’s (RCSLT) Giving Voice campaign has translated into a Twitter animation, to help promote the messages.

The nine tips in full are:

1. Warm up your voice by humming or blowing bubbles through a straw

2. Minimise background noise

3. Headset. Use a headset to minimise voice strain and overcome the urge to raise your voice

4. Posture. Remember your posture to support efficient voice use

5. Hydration. Keep yourself hydrated

6. Breaks. Take breaks between calls

7. Voice Rest. Find opportunities to rest your voice through active listening and non-speaking activities

8. Relieve Tension. After/between calls reduce the tension in your face, jaw and larynx. Yawning stretches are good for this

9. Contact a speech and language therapist. If problems persist or worsen, contact a speech and language therapist. Here’s how to do this in the UK.

Reflecting on the work, Dr Roper said:

"I compiled this list of tips following a twitter discussion with other speech and language therapists. We'd seen growing mention of people experiencing voice issues as a result of the recent transition to regular use of teleconferencing for so many of us. I decided to put together a Twitter thread of GIFs to showcase the generosity and wisdom of colleagues in my profession. That was when the RCSLT got in touch and produced and promoted the tips in a lovely video through their campaign channel at Giving Voice!"

Further information

Watch the Twitter animation of the nine tips to protect your voice when video conferencing.

How to contact a speech and language therapist in the UK.

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