Foods to Avoid Before Giving a Speech

foods to avoid before speakingJust 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:

  • Dairy
  • Caffeine
  • Hot spices
  • Soft drinks
  • Refined sugars
  • Chocolate
  • Iced drinks
  • Alcohol

Food sensitivities

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:

  • Wheat
  • Nuts
  • Shelfish
  • Soy
  • Spicy foods
  • Berries

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:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Caffeinated soft drinks
  • Sugary foods and beverages
  • Chocolate

Energy drainers

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.

About Carma

Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and science communication. She is a multi-dimensional entrepreneur, a certified life coach, science fiction writer and poet. She is able to see people's brilliance and help them bring their genius to light. The wind beneath her clients’ wings, Carma provides creative entrepreneurs with expert advice on branding and online presence, as well as the emotional support necessary to carve out their niche for success online. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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