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Baltimore Ravens NFL quarterback Lamar Jackson is exciting to watch. In only his fourth year in the NFL, Jackson can run and throw with equal skill and has energized the Ravens. Sports commentator Erin Andrews asked Jackson about the source of his success, apart from the usual training regimen, and he surprisingly said “sleep.” Jackson has the reputation of sleeping more than any other player, sometimes as soon as the game is over and he is on the team bus.

Sleep is a highly underrated potion in any endeavor. Short-term cognitive effects from lack of sleep include slow thinking and reaction time, which makes you unable to pivot and be quick on your feet; faulty memory, especially in the area of stats and facts; and feedback blunting, so you can’t learn and improve on the fly.

Being able to execute, pivot and react in the moment is vital for speakers. Having your brain and body sharp is critical. The night before an important presentation, take time to meditate, listen to relaxing music, or read-- whatever collects and centers your energy so that you have a good night’s sleep. Like Jackson’s recent overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings, you will close with full strength.

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