By “practicing your speech where you can see it”, what I mean is that you should choose a method of being able to actually see what is happening when you are delivering your speech. You should be able to notice your facial expressions and your body movements, so you can see not only the story you are telling with your words, but also the story that you are telling with your body.
For some, this means practicing a speech in front of a mirror. Many people prefer this “real-time” approach, because it gives them the opportunity to immediately notice and focus on weaker elements of their speech.
However, other people prefer to videotape themselves giving a speech, and then analyze the elements of the speech at a later time. Although this does not give you the advantage of being able to correct elements of your speech on the fly, it does give you the advantage of being able to distance yourself for a bit from your speech, and then come back later to analyze it when your mind is fresh. Also, videotaping your speech gives you the advantage of being able to review certain parts of your speech again and again, to determine exactly what is lacking.
So what does being able to see yourself practicing your speech have to do with overcoming your speaking fear? Well, simply put, it does two things: First, it helps you notice movements, “filler” language, facial expressions, and other elements of your speech that may be inconsistent with the message you seek to convey. Second, it helps to solidify what your perfect speech looks like in your mind, so that you will be able to recreate it for your audience.
In order to be more specific, lets examine both of these elements in a bit more detail:
Noticing Inconsistent Elements of Your Speech.
When you see yourself giving your speech, you will pick up on nuances of your speech that detract from your message, or are inconsistent with the crux of your speech. Often times, speakers do not realize how much their body language affects the content of their speeches. Unfortunately, even if you have written a flawless speech, if you are displaying body language that is distracting, you will find that you are “losing” your audience – and you probably wont even know why.