Maintaining vocal health is crucial for effective thought leadership presentations, especially for CEOs and entrepreneurs who frequently speak in various settings. Christina Hager, a former opera singer turned presentation coach, emphasizes the importance of staying hydrated by drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. This simple yet essential tip helps prevent vocal strain and ensures clear communication during public engagements.

Effective thought leadership relies on the voice of the CEO, entrepreneur or author to get their message across. Between business meetings, calls, video conferences and speeches, most CEOs, entrepreneurs and executives talk a lot – forcing them to keep their vocal cords in fighting shape.

Personally, when I feel the ice-cold draft of air-conditioning on a long flight or the seasonal sniffles coming on, the panic rises in my throat. The average cold can wreak havoc on your vocal cords causing inflammation, soreness and a croaky sound that I imagine is what a frog playing a kazoo might sound like. Which just won’t do when you’re facing an upcoming public presentation or performance.

I interviewed Christina Hager, a professional opera singer for ten years and current presentation coach. She had some great tips for keeping your voice in tip top shape and your thought leadership heard loud and clear. Here’s just one tip from the interview. 

Drink 12 glasses of water a day.

I’ll admit it, I’m not a water person, but apparently staying hydrated is one of the keys to taking care of our voices. “When it’s hot outside, we are more cognizant of drinking water and rehydrating,” says Hager, who holds a Masters in Vocal Performances from the Moores School of Music. “However, when it is cold out, and heaters are blasting everywhere — that is very drying to the voice.”

Hager currently coaches businesspeople on giving presentations and suggests drinking a minimum of eight to ten glasses of water a day–or, if you use your voice a lot, up to 12. Oh, and don’t forget to sip water liberally on your next flight. Any time of year, airplanes are notoriously dry environments.

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