Speaking is such a vital part of life, and anything that creates problems for it is uncomfortable and inconvenient. Here are some tips to help you retain or regain your voice:
1) Avoid straining your vocal cords. This causes them undue irritation and they swell, restricting or even eliminating the sounds you can make. This is especially important if you are already hoarse, have laryngitis, or a cold. You should limit your voice use.
2) Stop smoking and chewing tobacco! This can affect the tone and quality of your voice because your vocal cords are irritated all the time.
3) Avoid speaking in noisy situations. This puts strain on your vocal cords.
4) Avoid shouting for prolonged periods.
5) Avoid excessive cell phone use. Try texting for a while to let your voice rest.
6) If you are going to be publicly speaking, keep a bottle of water close by and use it frequently. Also use a microphone to avoid straining your voice.
7) Use proper diction and inflection. Let your diaphragm do a lot of the work of projecting your voice to your audience, rather than your vocal cords.
8) Maintain proper posture while speaking.
9) Don't speak too high or low. This puts added stain on the vocal cords.
10) Avoid getting your face and throat chilled. Wear protective gear (i.e. face mask or muffler) during winter weather.