Nearly every day we are called upon to present ourselves. It might be in a business setting, where we need to convince customers to purchase a product or it might be in a social setting where we need to convince a person we meet that we are interesting and fun to be with.

How can you improve your communication and presentation skills? Your entire body – not just your voice – is part of the “machinery” that can make or break your presentation. If your voice, your message, and your body all work together in harmony, you’ll get your point across and increase the likelihood of success. However, if your voice, message, and body don’t work together, your point could be muddled or lost. Fueling the machine is part of the process of bringing harmony to your presentation.

A balanced diet is an important part in fueling the machine. Make sure you eat meals that are approved by the food guide of your country (since many countries have their own food guides due to local differences in food availability).

If you have a very important presentation that requires your full voice and attention in front of others, avoid mixing proteins and starches in the same meal. As well, avoid eating fruit unless it’s on an empty stomach.

Keeping your voice lubricated is another important aspect of operating your presentation machine at peak capacity. To do that effectively, make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. On presentation days, drink water that is room temperature. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks in the hours before your presentation.

Third, keep your presentation machine rested. Get 8 hours of sleep each night and avoid stressful activities, particularly in the hours leading up to your presentation. This will help you to have a clear voice and to give your full attention to the presentation at hand.

Aside from diet and rest, exercise is another important factor. Exercising regularly helps to keep your body in tune. While you may not immediately connect it with communicating, think of it this way: your car’s purpose is to get you from point A to point B. While getting your car tuned up on a regular basis doesn’t do anything about the specific act of driving from A to B, it does give you the assurance that when you turn the key in the ignition, the car starts and goes the way it should. Exercise does that for your presentation machine.

Your communication and presentation skills will become better as a result of investing quality time in yourself. Of course, this isn’t something you can do just minutes before the presentation. It is a lifestyle choice that you need to continue to make. Commit to a healthier lifestyle for many reasons including career success.