If you do some research on the internet about excessive throat clearing, you will find a host of remedies, elixirs, cures and magic potions that promise to fix the problem. Certainly it is important to have a lubricated throat when you speak. Also true is the fact that certain prescriptive medications, asthma, acid reflux (gerd) and severe lung disease can produce a dry throat or the opposite – too much phlegm. Either situation can result in the need to clear your throat. If there is a medical reason for the throat clearing, then you should resolve the problem physiologically.
Let’s assume, however, that you have no medical issues. What is causing that need to constantly clear the throat? The problem may be the result of any number of causes which could be psychological and/or physical in nature. So what should you do? Your 1st step is to take note of when it is happening. Record your next speech or presentation and study the playback. Is your throat clearing more apparent in the opening of your presentation when you are more nervous? Does it happen later in your delivery when your throat is becoming raw or sore?
If your throat clearing is a habit caused by nervousness, you need to break the habit and learn how to take control of that nervousness, allowing it to work for you and not against. You should also avoid dairy products before speaking. If you will be presenting during a breakfast meeting, for example do not eat cereal or yogurt beforehand. Dairy products produce extra phlegm. You should also avoid sugary drinks.
Lessen the amount of salt and spicy foods that you eat that day. Processed food and all fast food contain a lot of salt which is why you tend to drink more after having Chinese take-out or McDonalds. Another reason to avoid a lot of salt in your diet before speaking is that it can make your feet swell, especially as you age. And feet that hurt is something to avoid when you are on stage!
By all means, drink plenty of fluids before presenting. While others will tell you to feel free to lubricate your throat during your delivery, my goal is for you to eliminate that need while speaking. The human voice can certainly take a 50-minute presentation without fluid. By the way, the more you concern yourself about clearing your throat, the more often you will clear your throat.
The difficulty with constant throat clearing is that it produces too much stress on the throat and voice box. If you want the best way to stop the throat clearing, learn to place your voice the correct way which I discuss in my article, How to Eliminate Excessive Throat Clearing in Public Speaking.