Great presenters make it look effortless, but for the rest of us, we know how difficult giving a dynamic presentation really is. We imagine ourselves grabbing the mic, owning the stage, getting a few laughs, and concluding with thunderous applause. However, the reality is that presenting isn’t quite so natural for most people. Presenting in front of a group can incite fear and anxiety for many people. In order to become a better presenter, we must understand how important it is to practice. But that doesn’t just mean reading over the script a few times. A critical component in practicing a presentation is actually seeing yourself present. Rehearsing in front of a mirror or webcam is one of the best things you can do to prepare for a presentation… and here’s why.
It Helps You See What You Look Like
Speakers often have no idea what they look like when they are speaking and that can be a bad thing. You might not notice the angry look on your face when you are talking or how awkward your stance looks. When you look at yourself in the mirror or on a webcam, you can actually see what the audience will be seeing.
It Helps You Take Note of Body Language
Body language plays such an important role in presenting. What you do with your body is just as important as what you say. The problem is, most people are completely unaware of their body language and what it looks like to the audience. Rehearsing in front of a mirror or webcam allows you to take note of your body language. Pay attention to your facial expression. Look at what you do with your hands while you are talking. How are you standing? Do you move around the stage? Proper body language can help you command the stage and make a better impression on your audience.
It Helps with Eye Contact
It is so important for presenters to connect with their audience and this is done through good eye contact. One of the worst things a speaker can do is read their presentation. If you are over-reliant on notes it makes you lose credibility and look like a rookie. If you practice in front of a mirror or webcam, you can learn how to use eye contact to connect with another person.
It Helps You to See What the Audience Sees
Recording yourself and practicing in front of a mirror is compelling because it allows you to see your presentation the way the audience will. You will be able to notice what you sound like, how comfortable or uncomfortable you look, and how well you know your material. Recording yourself also provides you with insight into areas where you might struggle such as transitions, including all of your key points, and interacting with the audience. A good presentation is equal part communication and equal part performance, so give yourself the best chance by taking a good look at how you perform.