When it comes to delivering an unforgettable performance, a singer's talent and vocal technique are just one part of the equation. Have you ever watched a performer who sounded incredible but looked disengaged, causing you to be bored and unimpressed? They were most likely missing the magical element that captivates audiences, creating an unbreakable connection between the performer and the listener. Whether you're trying to impress at karaoke, convey emotions through a meaningful song in our summer talent show, or take home the top prize in a competition, there is a skill you'll have to master: stage presence! This July, we want to help you electrify the stage during your next performance!
As tough as it is to hear, if you look nervous and uncomfortable during the performance, your audience will most likely feel uncomfortable, too. Confidence is key to stage presence, so even if you're not feeling 100% secure, fake it til you make it! Stand tall, maintain good posture, and project an air of self-assuredness. Make eye contact, smile (if it fits the vibe and emotion of the song), and allow your emotions to shine through your performance. A singer who can create a connection with the crowd will instantly gain their support and admiration.
Pleaseeee don't make a face (or comment into the microphone... we've seen that!) if you mess up. Odds are that the audience didn't even notice it until you pointed it out. You have to remember that mistakes and little vocal imperfections that seem very obvious to you in the moment may not even register in an audience member who is there to enjoy your performance. Most of the time, the audience is not there to judge you. They want to see you succeed.
One way to look confident and comfortable on stage is to involve your body. Your body is an instrument, too! Use it to convey emotions and enhance your performance. Gestures, subtle movements, and even some dance moves can all add visual appeal to your singing. Feel free to plan out what you will do, and when, so that you don't have to think about it in the moment if it doesn't come to you naturally. If you have any doubts about how to use your body and hands while singing, it may be wise to avoid excessive or distracting movements that could take away from your vocal delivery. Air on the side of "less is more" until you feel like gestures are natural to you. A confident singer also commands the stage. Move purposefully and own the space you're performing in. Utilize the entire stage, and don't be afraid to walk around, interact with band members if applicable, or explore different areas during instrumental breaks. This dynamic use of space keeps the audience engaged and energized.
Sometimes a song will be more about emotion and storytelling than delivering something energetic and upbeat. When faced with this kind of performance, authenticity is the cornerstone. Focus on your connection to the lyrics, and perform with as much emotional honesty as you can. When you think about the message you can share with an audience, the performance becomes less about you and your nerves or insecurities (which is always a freeing feeling!). Emotional authenticity- nothing forced or put on- can be felt even by the back row of the audience.
Remember, stage presence, like anything else, is a skill that develops with practice and experience. Don't be disheartened if you don't feel like a superstar right away. Keep performing, keep learning, and keep evolving. The more you connect with your music and your audience, the brighter your star will shine on stage.
And if you're a current student of VBC and want some practice, be sure to join us for our annual summer talent shows on August 4th and 5th! We can't wait to see you there!