The Doctors: How To Keep Your Voice From Shaking & Why We Shiver


The Doctors: What Causes Shivers

Maybe you’ve heard the urban legends. But what is the real reason we get those shivers and goosebumps. Dr. Travis Stork explained that it’s an adrenaline release.

You can see this in dogs or cats, when the hair stands up on their backs as they are threatened. “It’s a primitive response,” he explained, while trying to make it happen on command.


The hairs on your arm will stand up and you may experience a shivering sensation.

The Drs: Public Speaking Advice

The Doctors shared their tips for overcoming anxiety and nerves in public speaking.

The Drs TV: Why Does Your Voice Shake

How can you prevent your voice from shaking and cracking? Do you have to give speeches or make presentations? If it makes you really nervous, that can be reflected in your voice.


“It’s all related to your vocal cords here, which are regulated by the Vegas Nerve, a very complicated nerve that has a whole ton of connections centrally in your brain,” Dr. Andrew Ordon said.

How Your Vocal Cords Work

The Amygdala in your brain controls emotions and your physical reactions. But when the Vegas Nerve is stimulated, your vocal cord muscles can spasm uncontrollably, causing your voice to shake.

Dr. Jim Sears added that nerves sometimes interfere with proper breathing, which could affect your ability to put proper pressure on your vocal cords. Stress can also make your mouth dry, which affects vocal quality.

Then Dr. Jim used a harmonica to demonstrate the difference between a nervous voice, blocking the back of the harmonica to create a muffled sound, and a regular voice, leaving the instrument open to do its thing.

How To Give A Speech

Dr. Travis shared the tips he uses when hosting the show every day. He said you can use this to overcome nerves before your own speech or presentation.

“I stand up here and I look at all of you and I imagine you naked,” he said, recalling the classic advice speech teachers have given through the years.

Overcoming Nerves in Public Speaking

Dr. Lisa Masterson also suggested staying hydrated, because water can fight dry mouth. Getting exercise the day before can release nervous energy from your body, and practicing your presentation will make you more confident.

Holding deep breaths and stretching your jaw are some other hints you could find helpful in giving a presentation.


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