How to Avoid Running Out of Breath During a Presentation

Running out of breath when talking can be very embarrassing, especially when you experience it during a serious presentation. While breathing is an automatic bodily function, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t run out of breath when you’re trying to speak.

The most common reasons that people run out of breath while talking are because they are either not breathing deeply enough, have tensed muscles, or are speaking too quickly. Being nervous is also a common trigger for shallow breathing.

Here are a few tips to avoid running out of breath during a presentation:

1. Breathe deeply and slowly

This will help you get more oxygen and relax your muscles. Condition your body to breathe deeply by practicing or taking a few deep breaths before you start talking.

2. Take pauses

Don’t try to power through your presentation without taking any breaks. Not only will this make you more likely to run out of breath, but it will also make you sound monotonous and give you the tendency of getting too winded.

3. Try to slow down your speech and focus on enunciating each word clearly

Speaking is a physical activity, and like all physical activities, it requires energy. If you speak too quickly, you will use up all your air before you know it. Pacing yourself will help you avoid this.

4. Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated will help keep your vocal cords lubricated, which will make it easier for you to speak without running out of breath. If you have the means to take short sips of water during your presentation, that would also be beneficial.

5. Avoid caffeine before speaking

Caffeine can dehydrate you and contribute to muscle tension, both of which can make it harder to breathe deeply and slowly.

6. Practice beforehand

The more prepared you are, the less nervous you’ll be and the better your breathing will be. One of the factors that contribute to shallow breathing is nervousness, so try to prepare as much as you can to calm your nerves.


Anyone can experience shortness of breath while talking, but there are steps you can take to prevent it. Whether you’re giving a presentation for work or school, following these tips will help you avoid any embarrassing moments of running out of breath.