Just like athletes watch what they eat before competition, speakers should watch what they eat before giving a presentation. Certain foods can have a negative effect on your voice, such as increasing phlegm or causing you to loose your train of thought.
Below are a few the usual suspects, although all of them may not have the same effect on you. But, just to be safe, you should probably just avoid them anyway.
Mucous producing foods
Increased mucous in your throat can cause you repeatedly clear your throat and sometimes even block your voice all together. Foods that can increase mucous or phlegm include:
- Hot spices
- Soft drinks
- Refined sugars
- Iced drinks
Become aware of foods that you are sensitive to. For example, citrus makes me a bit phlegmy so I avoid orange juice before speaking. Other foods that people can be sensitive to include:
- Spicy foods
Stimulants and depressants
Foods that cause you to speed up or slow down can affect your train of thought, as well as your voice. Foods that have these effects include:
- Caffeinated soft drinks
- Sugary foods and beverages
Eating a heavy meal or poultry can slow you down. You either want to avoid eating right before a presentation or eat a light, high-protein, low fat meal before your speech for increased energy.