Don’t practice your speech in front of the mirror.
I don’t know how this became such popular conventional wisdom, but it doesn’t make any sense. When you practice in the mirror, you’re doing the one thing you know for sure will not be happening when you actually present—looking right at yourself.
It’s way more helpful to set up your smartphone to video yourself presenting to an empty room than to stand and look into the mirror.
A note about watching yourself on video: a lot of clients tell me they dislike watching themselves back. The inherent understanding we have of ourselves and how we come across to others in rooted so permanently in our own perspective, looking our from behind our own eyes, hearing our voices the way only we can hear them, that it is unnerving to see ourselves as others do.
Remember, though, that video is only telling part of the story. Yes, it’s capturing what we said and did, but it’s a two-dimensional representation. Video is really useful in assessing the points of physical and vocal alignment that we’re curious about, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that the video shows you all there is to see. When we’re live in the room, our brains are working hard to fill in lots of information that can’t be conveyed through video.
So, yes, watch yourself on video. It’s a great tool. But always 1) notice what you’re doing that’s working and give yourself a pat on the back, and 2) don’t think it’s telling the whole story.