Stop Practicing for the Mirror – It’s Just a 1-Person Show!

Do you practice your speeches in front of a mirror?

Stop. Right now.

This is one of those tips that’s lasted through the ages, but doesn’t offer presenters any real value.

In fact, if you follow this rule, your presentation could fall flat.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…is lying

Here’s why this presentation rule stinks.



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You become accustomed to “talking” to your audience, the mirror, which is about a foot away from you.

But in reality, your audience may be 50 feet away, or 200.

And while that mirror is close by, you focus on the wrong things: Your face, your body, your expressions. 

Your energy stays contained within that 12 inches of space, too. 

You are essentially giving your presentation to an audience of one! 


“Stop using the mirror to practice – you’re giving a presentation to an audience of one!”


Your focus needs to be on the audience in the room, the people who will provide the energy, feedback and reaction you need.

When your attention is directed onto the audience, your voice and energy should project to the front of the room, the sides, and all the way to the back!

You have to practice

It’s that simple. 

Get used to stumbling, so you can get over it. 

Every time you rehearse your speech, you’ll change a few things here and there, and improve the presentation.

Practice your presentation to get over the fear of getting up in front of a crowd. It works! At the least, you’ll be able to manage that fear. At best, you’ll start feeling much more confident  –  even if some of that fear remains.

Choose a venue that provides little risk and practice. If you don’t have a lot at stake, you can afford to “fail” in front of the crowd (which can include family members, friends or safe colleagues). Or volunteer to speak about your hobby to a local group, at the library or at a community or church function. These are safe places to practice and get better.

Start “doing” presentations, practice your delivery, and you’ll improve  –  promise!

There’s just no substitute. 

And you can’t wing it, either. 

Do professional athletes and musicians succeed without practice??

The Beatles routinely played marathon sets (eight hours!) for audiences at small clubs long before they performed in front of the masses and gained huge celebrity.

It’s pretty clear why these types of individuals are at the top!

Because they practice doing the right things BEFORE they get in front of their audience. 

You’ve got to work at it. You can do this!

Choose one place where you can practice delivering your speech, and mark it down in your calendar!

This article is 100% written by a human named Karen Hough. She is the Founder & CEO of ImprovEdge, in the top 4% of women-owned businesses in the US, a 3-time Amazon bestselling author, Yale grad, wife and mom of three.