2010-07-29

Public Speaking and hydration

Last week, I did a day of presentations in Indianapolis.  They seemed to go fairly well.

Many people who have trouble with public speaking get caught up in nervous aspect of it. There are a number of techniques that people can use to address that.  For all the attention that nerves generate, it's easy to overlook the physical aspect of it.

Because there's often no heavy lifting, many speakers overlook just how physically draining a day of speaking can be.  Projecting and speaking loudly enough to be heard by 40 people in a conference room for a total of 8 hours puts takes physical energy.  A day of speaking is tiring, and can be dehydrating.  Not only are you  taxing your body by projecting your voice, working with your voice, and running your mind at a different pace to speak well, you are also putting more moisture into the air from the sheer act of speaking loudly.  Drink plenty of water.

That's the mistake I made. I failed to consume a gallon or more of water during the event.  By the last 30 minutes of the last presentation my voice was starting to break and my train of thought required significant concentration.

By later that evening, tired and dehydrated, whatever bug I'd been exposed to on the flight out to Indy saw it's opportunity and jumped on my back.  I spent the next several days fighting off a cold.

I know, trauma almost as lame as the Gypsy curse I discussed earlier in the week.

The point is that when you are speaking for a day, remember to drink plenty of water.  It's not just to keep your throat clear.  It's because the body and mind need plenty of water to continue functioning properly.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Very insightful!Thanks.

MarcM said...

Good tip Bill. I fall into that trap as well and always forget!