As Instructors we encounter many challenges when leading a group exercise program.  Covid-19 has added the additional challenge as shouting will cause respiratory droplets which may cause virus contagion.  During this time, instructors must be cautioned not to have their groups work too intense to breathe more intensely as well as not to shout or spew directions at their groups.

Often, one of the greatest challenges is projecting instruction loud enough to be heard by the people in the studio or pool.  A lot of our fitness clientele consists of older adults who may be dealing with hearing impairment.  Additionally the acoustics in a pool or a studio may have an echoing effect  or your voice may not be as loud as you like. Most men have a deeper voice whereas, women generally have higher pitch tone which is more difficult to hear. Although it is possible for an Instructor to provide a lot of visual cuing there comes a time when the participants need to be able to hear clear instruction.

The role of each Instructor is to help their class understand what exercise they are doing (and why) by providing tips for each exercise to enable them to become successful.  This is the key to effective training.  Providing easy to follow and clear  verbal instruction to move at a “self-paced” personal best will allow clients with multi-level skills and/or fitness levels to enjoy a safe workout “together”.

Instructors will benefit greatly by using a microphone to amplify instruction.

 Voice amplifiers are especially helpful because:

  • Enhances enjoyment for participants because they can hear and understand what exercise they are performing, where to move as well as how to move
  • Makes life generally more pleasant and less frustrating for the Instructor who is trying to be heard (often overtop of the talkers)
  • Less need for vocal repetition and hence fewer misunderstandings
  • Minimizes overall strain and fatigue by synchronizing verbal and visual cuing
  • Promotes more control of the program especially for those who previously could not be heard due to their quiet voice
  • Helps to prevent voice injury due to constant shouting which will allow for healing or to avoid further damage of the vocal cords.

What are Vocal Cord  Nodules?

A vocal cord nodule is a mass of tissue that grows on vocal cords which reduces or obstructs the ability of the vocal folds to create the rapid changes in air pressure which generates human speech and sounds. Symptoms of having vocal nodules include raspy throats, hoarseness, painful speech production, frequent vocal breaks, and reduced vocal range. Vocal fold nodules develop mostly in adult females, and children of both sexes. (Wiki 2014)

The nodules appear as symmetrical swellings on both sides of the vocal cords. The cause of these little formations on the back of the throat are usually attributed to strenuous or abusive vocal  practices such as yelling, speaking constantly in a loud voice to a group and/or coughing. Those who use their voice constantly in a poor environment such as a pool and do not use a proper microphone are prone to this voice injury..

A Voice Amplifier can be a truly a wonderful asset to assist anyone working with  the public – (with or without a voice problem).  In addition to Fitness Professionals, people such as tour guides, teachers, sports coaches, clergy, entertainers, and any public speaker, can benefit by being heard when talking to groups or vocalizing in a large, noisy space.

Another use of a personal amplifier is that it can improve communication with those with hearing problems – a relief to both speaker and listener

  • Lets those with hearing impairment hear themselves better during speech practice – while improving tone and articulation, learning, esophageal speech, reacquiring speech after stroke or injury, etc.
  • Allows longer phrasing for esophageal speakers.
  • Helps develop poise and self-confidence in those not accustomed to public speaking.
  • Makes life generally more pleasant and less frustrating both for people who want to be heard and for the family, friends, caregivers and teachers who want to be able to hear them easily.
  • Promotes independence and self-assurance in those who previously could not “speak up” and take charge of their own lives and care.

Note that separate microphones  and sponge balls for the microphone may be purchased if sharing the unit and the unit is rechargeable for approximately 14 hours. That beats buying batteries constantly or recharging the unit.

This may be the time to consider investing in a microphone or voice amplifier and as a Member of WaterART you save 20% on product purchases!