I have a ritual before every speech I give. It's a simple one, really, based on both hygiene and vanity.
In a nutshell, I hit the bathroom to wash my hands (important since I will be shaking countless others before and after the speech is delivered), brush my teeth (just like a clean car seems to run better, I think my words sound better coming from a freshly-brushed mouth), and check my frontal view for anomalies--spinach between my teeth, stains on my clothes, askew shirt collars or the like. Once the checklist is affirmatively and positively finalized, I head back into the room, or backstage, for my intro.
That said, here's what I've taken away from my past six speeches:
You can't wash your hands
anymore without feeling guilty
While I know that washing them is imperative, drying them seems to be the issue. In the past few month, in places as diverse as the Four Seasons Hotel to San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, I've seen just about every method of removing excess moisture heavily chastised.
Paper Towels--wasteful and bad for the environment
Power Dryers--waste energy and (apparently) send germs airborne
Fancy Hand Cloths--re-usable yes, but waste energy AND pollute the environment via the laundering process
You can't win.
And I can't deal with the guilt.
Which is why, from here on in, before every speech, I will wipe my freshly-washed hands on my pants...water stain be damned!