Vocal and diet tips for presenters

Voice exercises and diet in presentations

Voice warm-up exercises

Singers often warm up their vocals before rehearsals or performances. They do this by screaming and yelling into a towel. This may also help with pre-presenting nerves. This is done to loosen up the vocal cords, to prepare them before your speech / presentation. It is similiar to the warming-up of the body before a training/ gym session, and is done for the same reasons, i.e. to lead you into your ‘session’, to prepare and clear your vocal chords.

Some simple voice Exercises:

One of the best ways to get a voice ready to talk or sing is to make a siren sound on “whoooo” from the lowest pitch you can make to the highest and back again. Repeat it several times. This obnoxious sound thins your vocal cords and makes them more supple for easy speaking or singing.

Blowing a pitch—any pitch—through your lips to make them flutter will loosen up your articulators: the tongue, lips, and throat muscles. When your voice is tired and husky, and you’re afraid you can’t go on—give this a shot. It will work wonders.

Diet and presentations

Often neglected as irrelevant, what you eat before, or drink during your presentation can have an impact. Read on to find out what you should be eating and what you should avoid.

Eating before your presentation: If you have to eat before a big presentation, eat stuff that gives you energy, like a bowl of pasta, but always steer clear of anything that is likely to make you feel bloated, uncomfortable, or worse sluggish – this could impact your presentation. We often see tennis players eating bananas during their short breaks and this is a good tip: bananas are high in potassium and will give you a slow release of energy. Avoid the sugar highs, i.e. chocolate, energy drinks, as the last thing you want is to start your presentation with a great burst of energy, then to lose that enthusiasm and energy part-way through. This will impact the audience, and will effect how they react to your presentation. You may find that they too, are switching off!

Drinking the right things! Tea is an astringent and will close your voice down. so avoid! Drink hot water instead—it keeps your voice supple, and try with a bit of honey, which is good for the vocal cords and has the same effects as cough sweets. If you find your voice does tend to go hoarse, bring some honey with you and pop it in some hot water! Always have water (preferable) to preserve the voice. Remember to stay hydrated, but don’t get into a situation where you have drunk so much water that you are rushing through your presentation to make a dash to the nearest WC!

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