It was Monday night, and I was standing in front of the mirror practicing.
I didn’t know what to look for as I went over the presentation, but that’s what the article said.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills, practice your presentation in front of a mirror.
As I pushed myself through the awkwardness, I only got more frustrated and overwhelmed.
Which freaked me out even more…
Needless to say, it was a disaster.
Years later I discovered that actually, this is one of the worst things you can do when preparing for a presentation.
Because you are your biggest critic. And because of this, you will see things nobody else will ever see.
You will come up with random fixations that unless you bring attention to them, they go completely unnoticed by your audience.
So what can you do instead?
This visualization exercise.
See yourself on the stage delivering the presentation.
Imagine the room, the audience, your slides. See yourself walking through the crowd, making eye contact.
Become aware of how relaxed you are.
Now go back to a time when you were in the audience.
Try remembering how you felt towards the speaker. Maybe you disagreed with what they said.
But that doesn’t mean you wanted them to fail.
Separate the content from the performance.
You wanted them to succeed at delivering their content. Because the better they did, the better your experience.
Nobody is there to judge you. Nobody is there because of you.
The audience is there because of themselves.
They are struggling with an obstacle, and they showed up because they believe your message will help them move ahead.
The audience is your biggest ally.