As we have said before, everybody is a presenter! 90% of your entire life is spent talking to people. People talk….a lot! Since we typically spend so much time with our mouths flapping, breath should be important. Just like first impressions are important when it comes to appearance, the same rules should apply to smell. Being a speaker of any kind makes having a conversation in close proximity to others inevitable. That makes your breath essential equipment. Bad breath can affect personal and professional relationships and lead to embarrassment and low self esteem.
It is believed that the breakdown of a sulfur containing acid, cysteine, in the mouth produces hydrogen sulfide causing stinky breath. I have experienced times (like sitting on Santa’s lap) that breath smelled so bad I just wanted to run, but couldn’t. Avoid funky breath that repels rather than attracts, especially before going into a meeting or presentation.
One source of bad breath is from the contents of your meals, so watch what you eat!
- Avoid strong odor foods such as onion, garlic, and seafood. Be aware of how your body reacts to certain foods.
- Evaluate yourself, use a plastic spoon to scrape the back of the tongue and smell the drying residue.
- Eat yogurt regularly, yogurt can regulate the bacteria in the mouth.
- Drink water and then gargle with saltwater, the combination of hydration and saltwater can assist in the battle of fresh breath.
- Avoid sugar, sugar attracts bad breath, but you can improve salivation by chewing sugar free gum. Yes, it works, but spit out the gum before you begin the conversation.
- Most importantly, maintain proper oral care by brushing and flossing on a frequent and regular basis.
Fresh breath will help you be more confident when you speak. I suggest you keep emergency mints with you; tongue strips or sprays work wonders.