After a live auction event, many bidders and spectators might wonder if the auctioneer’s voice is tired after selling.

It is very common for auctioneers to get the question “Does your voice get tired?” The short answer is yes. Depending on the overall auction length and number of items sold, an auctioneer’s voice may be tired and even hoarse.

The muscles of the throat and mouth that make sounds, whether for talking, singing or bid calling, have a limit. Those muscles are just like any other human muscle or system and can be pushed to the point of exhaustion. Over time, and especially without proper warm-up and post-event care, auctioneers can find their voices tired, or in extreme cases even lose their voices.

Many professional live auctioneers have both the training and experience of selling for very long periods of time. It is not uncommon for livestock, equipment, and auto auctioneers to sell for several hours, and in some cases all day. With that experience, many auctioneers are comfortable selling for long stretches with minimal breaks.

Because auctioneers make their living with their voice, they have techniques to preserve and maximize their voices. Here are five tips from the auction profession to help you protect your voice:

  1. Always use a microphone and sound system
    The volume and quality of the sound system makes a huge difference in how tired a voice might become. Auctioneers need quality sound systems so their audiences can hear and understand them, but also to protect their voices. 
  2. Avoid yelling, screaming, or stressing the voice
    Without a sound system, voices are likely yelling, screaming, or otherwise pushing beyond where they naturally work. This will result in more stress and more problems.
  3. Drink plenty of water
    Hydration before any speaking event will ensure better outcomes and better results. Professional auctioneers often start drinking more water 24 hours before an event to ensure their bodies and voices are ready to perform.
  4. Use throat lozenges, cough drops or sprays to keep vocal cords lubricated
    Using over-the-counter throat lozenges to help keep vocal cords lubricated is a great way to prevent problems. However, they are only masking the problem. A throat or voice that hurts or gives out quickly might be a reason to see a medical professional. 
  5. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and smoking
    Things like caffeine, alcohol and smoking dehydrate and irritate a person’s throat or mouth. Try to limit anything like that. 

Many outside the profession look at auctioneering as a physical activity like singing or playing a musical instrument. While there is a fair amount of physical activity, most auctioneers report mental fatigue before anything physical like their voice getting tired. Auctioneering is an intense mental activity as well as a physical one. The best thing you can do for an auctioneer immediately after an auction is to give him or her a bottle of water and a few minutes to recover physically and mentally.

Learn more about contract auctioneering.

Five auction businesses that hire auctioneers.