Imagine being with me this weekend as I speak at a mother/daughter tea. The little ladies will be dressed in their best, as well as their mothers before sitting at the fancy tea tables.

The presentation has been customized for the event and the audience. Now is the time to practice…but not before a mirror!

As a speaker, how often have you heard to practice your speech before a mirror to be at your best? As a certified speech teacher, I cringe when I hear this advice.

“Why?” Some of you may ask.

Practicing in front of a mirror restricts our space for full rehearsal movement. We look at ourselves instead of focusing on our audience.

The best place for practicing is in an open space. This area allows us the freedom to rehearse in the approximate realm of the platform where we will be performing.

I like to place parts of my presentation in different areas in the imagined stage space. This helps me to remember to get close to the audience in all areas by moving around. There is also an added value in having parts of my speech practiced in multiple spots. If I lose my train of thought, I can step away from the mark, pause quickly, and then step back into the rehearsed region where I automatically regain the message. Focusing on our audience by giving them the most meaningful concentration through eye contact, non-threatening interaction activities, and immediate applications is what connects us.

This week as I practice for the mother/daughter tea, you’ll not find me practicing for hours in front of a mirror, but rehearsing where each part of the presentation will be delivered from multi-areas on the platform.

This broken rule doesn’t bring seven years bad luck – – only closer connections with our audiences.

Practice on!

Carolyn

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.       ~   Colossians 3:17