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How to Turn Wasted Car Time into a Well-Cared-For Voice

For Those Who Need To Count On Their Voices

Order now, on-line.

elbows picture "Storyteller Doug Lipman's
unique, drive-time vocal warm-up
helps you arrive, poised to succeed!"

Guaranteed!
 
"Worthwhile! I am using the car warm-up CD on my way to gigs, which has resulted in my throat not feeling irritated after telling for several hours." - Bob Linsenmayer, McCormick, SC
Dear Friend,

If you're like me, you spend too much time in your car, and have too little time to work on what really matters to you. And that includes things you know you should do. Like protecting your voice.

Sure, you've had some episodes of hoarseness or strain. But you've hoped serious voice problems will pass you by. Yet some part of you knows that "hoping" is not the best strategy for something this important.

Good news! There is an almost effortless way to protect your irreplaceable vocal instrument. You now have an easy alternative that makes your storytelling - and any important use of your speaking voice - more likely to succeed.

 
Do Any Of These Apply To You?
  • I drive to where I tell stories.
  • My voice is sometimes tired, hoarse, or strained.
  • After a drive, I frequently find myself feeling tense and tired.
  • I don't have enough time to work on my voice.
If any of the above apply, read on. I have a simple, inexpensive solution that can help you turn 11 minutes of a car ride into:

  • A more expressive voice,
  • Reduced tension in your body, and
  • Just plain feeling better and more confident when you arrive at a performance or other speaking engagement.

Could This Happen To You?

Michelle (not her real name) was an eager storyteller who threw herself into her work. She was thrilled to have audiences for performances, workshops, and keynote speeches. She worried about what stories to tell, the reactions of her audiences, how to get more bookings - all the usual concerns of an active teller.

She worried about those things as she rushed through traffic to her gigs. Too often, she arrived tense and off-balance. She worried, in fact, whether she was cut out for storytelling, since it all seemed so stressful.

But she never worried about her voice. Until...

Repeatedly, she found herself hoarse after telling. But it was always fine the next day. "No problem," she thought. But the hoarseness lingered longer each time. She soldiered on, noticing that her voice was less flexible and expressive than it used to be. When she started to lose her voice mid-way through a story, she finally made an appointment with a doctor, who told her she had swollen vocal folds (vocal cords), and was well on the way to developing vocal nodules.

What did the doctor prescribe? "Complete rest of your voice for two weeks - for a starter," he said, not realizing that, for Michelle, this was more than an inconvenience. It was a complete interruption of her way of life. No work for two weeks; no returning calls to book jobs; no talking on the phone at all; not even talking to her children - or else face the threat of worsening problems and even surgery.

The saddest part of this story is this: it was all completely avoidable. With a little voice care and attention to her mounting tenseness, none of her voice problems needed to happen.
 
Vocal nodules are a serious result of misusing your voice. According to Bridget M. Walsh of Purdue University, they account for more than a fifth of all vocal disorders - and may be suffered by as many as one in a hundred people in the U.S.! They are especially common in those who use their voices in their work, including:

  • Teachers
  • Lawyers
  • Salespeople
  • Homemakers
  • Preachers
  • Singers
  • Telemarketers

If voice therapy does not reduce these hardenings of the vocal folds, they may need to be removed with surgery. Luckily, they can usually be prevented by correct use of your voice.

How Can You Avoid Voice Problems?

There are many tried-and-true methods to deal with your voice. Unfortunately, they all cost hundreds (even thousands) of dollars:

  • University courses
  • Private voice lessons
  • Speech therapy
  • Treatment by medical specialists, including, utlimately, surgery.

Please don't try to rely solely on books to learn about your voice. As valuable as they can be to supplement one of the others methods, books alone are all too likely to compound your problems. And even if you interpret what you read correctly (a big "if," with something as physical and experiential as voice), there is still the problem of actually doing the exercises.

In fact, if you do consult those professionals, you will still have to confront the dilemma of "when will I actually do the exercises they suggest?" At some point, you'll be in the predicament of so many of us: you know what to do, but don't get around to doing it.

After all, you're busy. You never get time to yourself for working with your voice. You're too busy driving....

Could Driving Time Be a Solution?

For years, I never connected these twin problems:

  1. Not enough time for my voice;
  2. Too much time in the car.

I had taken classes and lessons from many voice teachers over the years, but most of what they showed me involved standing up - at the least. In fact, almost every teacher wanted me to lie down for part of my warm-up - or even to sing while bending over with my head between my legs!

So how could I really warm up while I drove?

Then Derek Burrows (himself an internationally known storyteller and musician as well as an excellent voice teacher) showed me an "emergency" vocal warm-up he did while sitting down.

This set me to thinking. What if I could work out a way to warm up, thoroughly, in the car?

In March, 2002, I published my complete guide to voice work for storytellers, The Storyteller's Voice-Care Toolkit™. In it, I included everything essential I had learned about voice, over my thirty years as a storyteller, teacher, and coach. One small portion of this hefty bundle (complete with videos, audios, a 60-page book, a poster, etc.) was an 11-minute "Car Warm-up" - in which I recorded my new invention: a complete vocal warm-up that was practical and safe to do while driving.

The idea was simple: to adapt as many elements as possible of a full warm-up for use in the car. Then to present those in a way that you could follow along, just by listening. And to make it available in both CD and cassette, so you'd be able to listen to it easily in your car.

Think of it as an "exercise tape for your voice." It saves you having to remember what to do. It gives you your own, patient teacher - who's always waiting for you in your car, at your command. And the whole warm-up is short enough to do on the way to the mall!

But there was still the problem of expense.
 
"The best part of the Toolkit is the "warming up excercises" and the cassette tape that I used in my car. ... I would recommend it to others!" - Barbara Kellogg, Uplifting Stories, Lake Lotawana, MO

He Didn't Want the Whole Enchilada

Recently, I was coaching a storyteller who complained about not having the time or the knowledge to do regular vocal warm-ups. So, naturally, I showed him the full Toolkit. He hefted it in his hand, looked at the $119.95 price tag (a bargain for what you get - a complete resource for protecting and developing your voice), and said, "That's great, but I'm not sure I want the whole kit. Can't I just get the car warm-up by itself?"

Reflexively, I answered, "No. You need the background of the whole Toolkit to make good use of the Car Warm-up."

But, later, his question set me to thinking. How much background would he really need? What's the minimum to make it work? Surely, not the full 45-minute lecture-demonstration on principles and applications of voice care for storytellers contained in the Toolkit. Not the information in the booklet on throat care, professional help, and other topics. Maybe just a summary of the most important principles?

After all, just warming up your voice on a regular basis can go a long way toward solving a storyteller's vocal problems.

At Last - an Inexpensive, Simple Solution

I took my own advice. I talked to other tellers about this problem: what would you need to really use the Car Warm-Up?

I came up with an answer. It's the Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit™. Here's what it includes:

  1. The complete, 11-minute car warm-up from the Storyteller's Voice-Care Toolkit - on your choice of cassette or CD;
  2. A brand-new, 11-minute recording, "Caring For Your Voice," which explains how the car warm-up fits into the big picture of your voice work and centering process before a performance;
  3. A brand-new, laminated "Visor Warmup Guide" that reminds you of the order of your car warm-up, in case you want to do it without the recording. Slips securely over your car's sun-visor for easy reference at stop lights!
  4. A discount certificate for the FULL VALUE of the Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit, which you can apply to the full Voice-Care Toolkit, in case you want to upgrade later;
  5. A handy vinyl library case to keep it all in, so you won't lose anything in your car.

Order now!

Give Me 11 Minutes As You Drive, and I'll Help You Protect and Develop Your Voice!

The Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit™ will help you do all of this, easily and effortlessly:

  • Learn the basic principles of voice care
  • Develop your voice over time
  • Start good vocal habits, painlessly
  • Put your car time to good use!

In particular, the relaxation and stretching exercises will help you:

  • Release habitual tensions in your neck, jaw, face, and shoulders. (The next best thing to having your own private masseuse in the car with you!)
  • Help release tensions which can cause vocal nodules and other physical harm to your vocal cords.

Now you'll remember to warm up! The visor guide can also serve as a handy reminder that you'll see every time you get in the car.

That way, you'll get the most important, long-lasting benefits of all. You'll:

  • Break the anxiety habit
  • Get centered as you drive, and
  • Arrive warmed up and ready to tell.

From these advantages, you will reap huge dividends. In time, you'll find that your audiences will hear the difference. Your voice will be heard with less effort. It will be relaxed and powerful enough to express the nuances of your stories. And, quite independently of the words you say, your voice itself will tend to inspire confidence and turn a strange audience into a roomful of friends.

Warning: This Warm-Up Kit Can't Do Everything

As useful as the Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit is, there are some important things it can't do:

  1. It can't, by itself, reverse severe vocal damage.
  2. It can't give you the understanding of your vocal apparatus that the complete Storyteller's Voice-Care Toolkit will give you - and therefore, the ability to troubleshoot difficulties.
  3. It can't give you specific, working knowledge of problem areas for storytellers in using their voices. (One whole section of the complete Toolkit is devoted to these issues, such as character voices, the three major destructive habits for storytellers to avoid, etc.)

This is a great tool that's so effortless you'll use it often - but it can't work miracles. If you need more than what the Car Warmup Kit provides, consider getting the whole Toolkit.

Order now!

Why Will You You Say 'No'?

I'm excited about what this Kit can do for you. Whether you use your voice for performing, teaching, selling, parenting, or anything else, I believe it can help you protect your voice, enjoy driving more, and be more likely to succeed when you arrive.

Still, I know from past experience that only some of you who read this far, will take advantage of this opportunity. Although that's okay with me as a publisher, it bothers me as a coach. After all, I want everyone to get help with issues of relaxation and vocal production, and therefore succeed more often and with less effort. Not to mention avoid harming your vocal cords.

So, while designing this Kit, I've spent some time thinking about why you might refuse.

Is it the money?

I know that money is always an issue. Of course, I understand that some people just don't have the hundreds of dollars it takes for voice lessons, classes, or a speech therapist. But this Kit is only $29.95 - on your choice of cassette or CD - and will be useful for the rest of your storytelling life. And the Kit is completely guaranteed!

If you get re-hired just once because you arrived at a gig centered and ready to take on a challenging situation, the Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit will pay for itself many times over.

For less than half the price of an ordinary voice lesson, the price of a modest dinner out for two (or a medium-scale dinner for one!), or 8 cents set aside every day for a year, you can have a permanent tool to help solve your voice problems, get centered on the way to your performances, and begin to live a more relaxed life. So price doesn't sound like the real issue.

Am I a Stranger to You?

Many of you reading this have known me for years. You can skip this section.

But the reast of you may wonder whether I'm qualified to create this Kit. And about the quality of the result.

Perhaps you're thinking, "He's not a professional voice teacher. What does he know about this?" That's an understandable question.

The answer to that question has two parts. First, I've studied with many voice teachers over the years - some magnificent, some that left me scratching my head. And if you know any of my other award-winning work, you also know that one of my abilities is to comprehend the essence of a subject, then convey it clearly without oversimplification. So I have studied the voice principles and procedures that apply to storytellers, and can teach them well.

Second, I can provide something voice teachers can't: practical knowledge of the needs of storytellers. If you've been active at all in the storytelling revival, you probably know me in at least one of these contexts over the last three decades of my work:

  • Past Board Member of the National Storytelling Network, the National Storytelling Association, the Three Apples Storytelling Festival, and more.
  • Two-time featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee.
  • Eight-time presenter at the National Storytelling Conference, Five-time leader at the National Storytelling Institute, and workshop leader on three continents.
  • Coach and co-coach of dozens of prominent storytellers (including Jay O'Callahan, Carmen Deedy, Michael Parent, Judith Black, and many others) and storytelling consultant to lawyers, executives, health-care professionals, and countless others.
  • Author of four books, performer on 12 story recordings, and creator of other innovative solutions for storytellers, from The Storytelling Workshop In a Box and The Leading Story Monthly to the first series of informative telephone seminars serving storytellers directly.
So my qualifications and abilities shouldn't be an issue. Then what?

With the help of my story-buddies, I came up with the following 10 possible other reasons you might have with for not grabbing one of these kits. Is your reason on this list? (If I missed an important one for you, please email me at . I'll try to improve the Kit, if possible, to address it.)

Problem #1: What If I Don't Like It?
Don't worry. This kit is fully, 100% guaranteed. If you're not satisfied for any reason, just return it in saleable condition, and I'll refund every penny of the purchase price. No hassles! No questions asked! I want you to be satisfied!

Problem #2: I won't do it.
I understand this concern. In fact, that's one reason I created this warm-up: because too many of us knew what to do but weren't doing it.

So I created something you can just follow along. No thinking required. It's that easy. And it's short! The entire warm-up just takes 11 minutes. (The "Caring For Your Voice" talk also lasts 11 minutes, but you'll only need to listen to that once in a while.)

Even if you do the warm-up only once a month, it will help. In fact, most people see a centering result the very first time they try it.

Problem #3: I don't have any voice experience.
This warm-up doesn't assume anything! I don't expect you to have any existing knowledge or experience of voice work. You can just follow along with the simple instructions, doing what I do. Contrary to what you may have gathered about voice work, what matters most in a warm-up is noticing the experience of vocal production, not "doing it right." Anyone can experience your own breath and voice.

Problem #4: I already had lots of voice lessons.
Let Yvonne answer this one. She wrote me, unsolicited, this email via the feedback form on this web site:
 
Dear Doug,
It was one of those days... One kid slept late while the yellow bus passed the house by. I drove the 5 miles & back to her school over slippery, rutted dirt roads.

Re-entering my kitchen, the blinking answering machine alterted me that the oldest child was feeling ill and needed to come home. Another 15 miles over cordoroy dirt roads.

Dispensing chicken soup and tissues while robing myself in storyteller finery, I dashed off to the performances with a much reduced cushion of time.

Thank goodness for your voice-care kit which had arrived in the mailbox only that morning. Not only did I have a calming voice to settle me down, I also was able to warm-up without having to remember what exercise to do next and still drive attentively.

Theatrical vocal training had prepared me for your work; the major advantage of your kit is that it leads me clearly, efficiently and thoroughly through the work I need to do to prepare and still allows me to focus on driving safely.

Sincerely,
Yvonne Healy
Stories from the Heart of the World, Editor - MI Story
Treasurer, Northlands Storytelling Network

Problem #5: I tried voice lessons. The teacher wanted me to sound like an opera star. But I just want to use my speaking voice better.
I think I must have studied from that teacher, too! I still remember how useless those lessons felt.

But I tried again and again, until I found excellent voice teachers who understood - and could teach me about - the needs of the speaking voice. In my thirty-plus years as a storyteller, I've found what works for storytellers - and therefore for all who count on their speaking voices. And I've boiled it down into the smallest, simplest package possible. So that you won't have to waste thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.

Problem #6: I'll be embarrassed.
Embarrassment is a tricky problem. It can keep you stuck in a downward spiral where:
  1. You lack confidence;
  2. So you avoid the work you need to do;
  3. So you get no reassuring experiences to buoy your confidence;
  4. So you feel even more embarrassed and unconfident, knowing that you're stuck.
The Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit™ is an excellent tool for breaking that cycle. You use it alone, where no one can hear you. The instructor is on tape, and so never seems to look at you funny. Finally, the physical movements, of necessity, are quite subtle - and, therefore, less likely to trigger your embarrassment cycle.

Problem #7: Is it really safe?
Yes, if you follow the instructions. Each activity is carefully adapted for safety. I use it myself! It's a passive, follow-along activity - which makes it easy to concentrate enough on the road.

Problem #8: It's too short to do anything.
Actually, 11 minutes is enough time to relax and get centered. The key thing in overcoming chronic tensions is to learn to release them.

The real problem is in renewing and reinforcing a new decision not to tense your muscles. Because the Car Warmup Kit is so easy and so handy, you're much more likely keep with it. And that's what will bring you results.

Problem #9: I have others in the car when I drive.
Get them to join in! It's fun! You'll all arrive centered!

Problem #10: I have two cars. One has a cassette player, the other a CD.
Good point! I've decided to offer a special price, just for folks with this problem. You can buy two copies (mix and match cassette and CD) and save $5 on the second copy.
 
"This is the most productive thing you can do with your time in the car. It keeps you alert. It keeps you present in your body. It demands that you not drift off into anxiety, etc., so it keeps you focused. If you're on your way to speak, it will help you be ready when you arrive."

Sharon Humphries-Brooks
Storyteller, Actress, Writer.
Clinton, NY

Order now!

It's Easy to Order

You can order in any one of four ways:

  1. Via my secure-server online order form.
  2. Via mail to Doug Lipman, 152 Wenonah Rd, Longmeadow, MA 01106 U.S.A.
  3. Via fax to toll-free fax: 888-300-6665.
  4. Via password-secured voice message, 781-837-1940

(Payment options: I accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, money orders, and checks. If you mail, fax, or call in a credit card number, be sure to include your billing address and your expiration date as well as the type of card and your number.)

I've done my part to keep your voice in shape. Now it's up to you to do yours. Happy telling!

All the best,

Doug Lipman

P.S., Don't forget - the complete, 5-piece Storyteller's Car Warmup Kit is fully guaranteed. Your money back for any reason! How can you lose?

Order now!

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Phone: (781) 837-1940
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This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
Copyright©2003 Doug Lipman