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  • 5 tips for talking wearing a medical mask

Even if on television we continue to see press conferences and interviews of people who do not wear protective medical masks, which, let’s recall it, are more a defensive barrier not to infect others than to prevent our contagion, anyone who has worn one will have immediately realized that he or she has problems breathing, talking and, above all, making himself or herself understood.

Among the hundreds of emails I receive daily, lately I receive more and more from people who find it difficult to talk and be understood through a medical or surgical mask. Clearly if you use a gas mask, speech becomes even more complicated. Don’t be fooled by Hollywood movies, fiction is always far from reality.

Clearly those who have a good vocal training background, will be able to emit sounds and articulate words much more effectively, even through a medical mask.

Usually those who try to talk for a long time through a medical mask find themselves with some inflammation of the phonatory apparatus, such as lowering of voice, hoarseness, or unpleasant tones or sudden changes in tone.

Since I’m very concerned about preserving vocal health, here are my five tips for talking while wearing a mask to defend yourself against the CoronaVirus outbreak:

  1. Always breathe through your nose
    Since the air flow rate that passes through the mask, if well worn, is much lower than what you are normally used to, you unconsciously tend to breathe through your mouth.
    Well, it is good to continue to breathe through the nose both to warm and humidify the air that enters our lungs and to further filter the particles of fine dust or anything else that will pass through the mask.
  2. Take slower, deeper breaths
    As we have seen through the mask, the air we can breathe into our bodies is less than usual. Since it is not possible to change one’s breathing attitude independently, it is good to try to take slower, that is to say, slower and deeper breaths, that is to say, filling the lungs more with air.
  3. Just communicate the essentials
    When wearing a mask, at work or away from home, it is good to try to be as concise as possible. Avoid chatting about more or less, unnecessary topics or non-essentials. In this way, you will avoid going into apnea and staying out of breath.
  4. Speak slowly
    Try to speak slowly, as if you were talking to a foreigner, spelling out all the words and trying to get the rhythm down. Imagine you are talking in a room with a loud reverberation, with a big rumble, wait until every word has reached its destination before pronouncing the next one.
  5. Do not turn up the volume of your voice
    Many people unconsciously tend to increase their voice, partly because they no longer hear their own sound well from their ears, as it is muffled by the mask, partly because the other party communicates that they do not understand the message.

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