The world of business moves at such a fast pace and we all do our best to keep up. We juggle tasks to meet deadlines. We rearrange schedules to make time for more. We run as fast as we can to deliver the best results. But as hard as we try, there are times when our minds and bodies beg for us to slow down. Luckily, there are several methods and life hacks to help you run the proverbial last mile. The real challenge is having to deliver a presentation when you’re feeling worn out. How can you convince an audience when you barely have enough energy to keep going?
There’s no rest for the wicked, nor the presenter who spent all night polishing his presentation. Regain your energy and composure with these surprising presentation hacks:
Presentation Hack 1: Discover the power of the power nap
We often combat sleepiness with a cup of coffee, but it could be time to consider another method. According to several experts, caffeine might cause you even more fatigue in the long run. If you want to feel awake in time for your presentation, the best solution is to take a power nap. Research has found that a quick 10-20 minute nap is enough to improve alertness and cognitive performance. Set your alarm and get a few minutes of shut eye. Just make sure you don’t sleep for more than 30 minutes or you’ll feel even more groggy due to sleep inertia.
Presentation Hack 2: Smooth out your wrinkled clothes in the restroom
After a nap, you’ll likely find wrinkles in your clothes. To fix your shirt, simply head to the nearest restroom. Lay out your shirt on the counter and place a damp towel over the creased area, smoothing it out with your hands. Make sure you wipe the counter down first so you don’t soil your shirt further. If you have one available, you can also use a hair or hand dryer to speed up the process.
Presentation Hack 3: Chew on cinnamon gum for fresh breath
With no time for a nap, you probably had to make do with the temporary buzz that caffeine gives you. If that’s the case, you can get rid of the dreaded coffee breath by chewing on cinnamon-flavored gum. Researchers have found that Big Red, the cinnamon-flavored gum by Wrigley’s, contains ingredients that reduce bacteria in the mouth. If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, you can also opt for gum sweetened with Xylitol.
Presentation Hack 4: Gargle with baking soda and warm water to clear your throat
Sometimes, it’s our voice that gives away how tired we feel. When your throat is feeling rough before a presentation, try combining a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with a warm cup of water. For sore throats, switch baking soda with half a teaspoon of salt.
Presentation Hack 5: Break down your core message into a 15 word summary
It’s easy to lose focus when you’re feeling sleepy. If you’re not careful, you might even trail off in your discussion. Make sure you keep track of your presentation by breaking down your core message into a 15-word summary. This can work as a sound bite, which you can constantly repeat to remind the audience (and yourself) of the main idea behind your presentation.
Presentation Hack 6: Bite back your ‘um’s and ‘like’s with deep breaths
With lack of focus, you might also find yourself blurting out some dreaded speech fillers. Whenever you catch yourself about to say “um” and “like”, stop yourself with a deep breath. Another way you can avoid these fillers is by pacing the way you speak. Give yourself sufficient time to pause after a few sentences.
Presentation Hack 7: Spend 2 minutes standing like a superhero
Amy Cuddy’s famous TED Talk discussed how “power posing” can lead to success. She suggested that simply changing our posture can affect the levels of cortisol and testosterone in the brain, leading us to feel more powerful and confident. For 2 minutes, stand straight, lift your chin, hold up your arms in a V-shape, and get that push you need.
Presentation Hack 8: Give yourself enough time to set up the venue
As busy and tired as you might be, it’s important that you set enough time to prepare before your presentation. Make sure you arrive at the venue at least 15 minutes before your presentation. Use the time to set up your PowerPoint display. If you encounter any errors, you can use this troubleshooter to solve the problem.
It’s hard to jump start any activity if you’re feeling low on energy. Give yourself the boost you need and achieve the best outcome with these simple and easy-to-do presentation hacks.