The Art of Speech

How To Use Your Voice

Alexandra Sampaio is a speech therapist in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

"The one who accepts the position of being a mouthpiece for God should consider it highly essential to present the truth with all the grace and intelligence possible, that the truth may lose nothing in one’s presentation of it to the people."

(Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 665. All quotations that follow in this article are from the book Evangelism)

Seventh-day Adventists believe in the gift of prophecy actively manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. We believe that through her, God gave us orientation regarding physical, mental, and spiritual health. God has a people, and this people represent His voice. If we are God’s voice, we should be the most beautiful and clear voice the world could ever hear. God gave us precious writings by Ellen White regarding our voice. Let us reflect upon this advice.

Value of the voice

“The human voice is a precious gift of God; it is a power for good, and the Lord wants His servants to preserve its pathos and melody. The voice should be cultivated so as to promote its musical quality, that it may fall pleasantly upon the ear” (pp. 667, 668).

Voice is the most complex and sophisticated sound human beings can produce; we may, however, modify and control it voluntarily. We can keep our voices healthy by warming up the voice, drinking enough water, avoiding screaming and clearing our throat, and by having a diet rich in fruits, especially apples and citrus fruits.

“Some destroy the solemn impression they may have made upon the people by raising their voices to a very high pitch, and hallooing and screaming out the truth. When presented in this manner, truth loses much of its sweetness, its force, and its solemnity. But if the voice is toned right, if it has solemnity and is so modulated as to be even pathetic, it will produce a much better impression” (p. 666).

Some people have a clear understanding of the voice and its impact upon the listener. Others never think about it. However, whether we are aware of it or not, we do influence people with our voice, and we are influenced by the voice of the people with whom we come in contact. If you don’t know your own voice very well, ask other people how your voice sounds, and if possible, listen to your own voice on a tape; thus you will be more familiar with it and will be aware of those aspects that need improvement. 

Vocal health

“Careful attention and training should be given to the vocal organs. They are strengthened by right use, but become enfeebled if used improperly” (p. 667).

Vocal health is a concept that includes a series of aspects, such as a clear and pure voice, expressed without effort and pleasing to the listener. Vocal hygiene consists of basic norms that help preserve vocal health and prevent alterations and illnesses.

“Speaking from the throat, letting the words come out from the upper extremity of the vocal organs, all the time fretting and irritating them, is not the best way to preserve health or to increase the efficiency of those organs” (p. 669).

Knowing your own voice is discovering one of the most fantastic functions of the human body. 

“No matter how much knowledge you may have acquired in other lines, if you have neglected to cultivate your voice and manner of speech so that you can speak and read distinctly and intelligently, all your learning will be of but little profit; for without voice culture you cannot communicate readily and clearly that which you have learned” (p. 666).

Alexandra Sampaio is a speech therapist in Brazil