Should You Drink Coffee Before Your Presentation?

When presented with a large task, an important meeting, or a crucial presentation, it’s tempting to seek assistance in the form of a generous cup of coffee.

Coffee is an ingrained part of our working culture. According to USA Today, 83% of American adults drink coffee every day, averaging to about three cups per day. Drinking coffee regularly can be beneficial to one’s health; coffee lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s. Plus, it’s loaded with antioxidants.   

With coffee’s ever-growing popularity, does it serve you to drink coffee before a big presentation day? People who regularly consume coffee and then suddenly cut back could experience caffeine withdrawal, resulting in headaches and sluggish behavior. On the other hand, drinking more coffee than usual to appear alert could give you the shakes and intensify nerves. The most important factor to consider when determining if you should drink coffee before a presentation or not is analyzing your personal stress levels.

Several experiments have found that drinking coffee has a beneficial effect on moods and alertness if an individual isn’t too stressed. However, it’s a different story when someone is confronted with a potentially stressful situation, such as public speaking. One study called “Potentiation of Performance-Induced Anxiety by Caffeine in Coffee” had students consume either a small or large amount of coffee before taking a high-stress test. Anxiety levels increased for everyone, but they spiked *three times* as much for the highly caffeinated students.

The bottom line: If you’re giving a presentation, drink your normal amount of coffee. Don’t think increasing your caffeine dose will make you more productive. Resist the urge to give yourself a boost by bumping up your caffeine level, which could make your presentation needlessly difficult and anxiety-producing. Likewise, don’t assume decreasing your coffee intake could make you less nervous, since that can affect the body in negative ways as well.

There are two important factors that can make or break your presentation–the delivery and the content of the deck. With the right amount of coffee and some rehearsal, you’ll nail the delivery. Worried that the content and design of the deck is falling short? Our freelancers can create a professionally designed presentation in as little as twenty-four hours, allowing you to focus on the delivery of the presentation stress-free.

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