One of the top concerns shared by singers the world over is how to be more confident on stage. Maybe it’s the new venue, someone special in the audience or just the fear of the unknown that has you distracted from enjoying performing.
Regardless, there are a few things you can do to minimize stress and nerves and own your show.
1. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Rehearsing goes way beyond memorizing words. Beyond learning to sing in a well trained balanced voice and learning the song itself you should also be rehearsing your song’s arrangement, styling (dynamics, trills, runs, hold notes, etc.), how you’ll move around the stage during the song and the transitions between songs if there are more than one.
Just like songs follow a map or format, your show should have a map so you know where you’re going.
Having a plan for your show doesn’t make it less spontaneous, it makes you a pro. And the more comfortable you are with the flow of your show, the more confident you will both appear to your audience and be.
2. Train, Train, Train
You’re already getting vocal training from a qualified instructor. So put it to good use! Ask your Voice Club instructor every questions you can think of about the songs you’re going to perform.
Start working through your song(s) in your training time as soon as you know you’re going to perform. Remember, any song you’re going to perform live gets bumped to the top of your training priority list. But we can’t give you those extra tips if you don’t let us know.
If you find you’re distracted by trying to play an instrument while singing, find qualified training for that. If you don’t have a great instructor already, ask your instructor. We know musicians who really know their stuff who train great musicians of every level.
Whatever it is that’s diverting your attention away from where it should be, training and experience will help to remove it from the equation.
3. Stop Stressing on Stage
The time to stress about vocal strain, reaching the high note, if you look dumb taking the mic off the stand, etc., is when you’re not on stage.
Stress is there to drive you to take control and work those things out ahead of time. But once your foot hits that stage, don’t give any of it another thought. Audiences may not know much about what you’ve done to get here but they can spot nervous and self-conscious a mile away; and it makes them uncomfortable too.
Once you hit the stage it’s time to enjoy what happens and give your audience a good time. Let the chips fall where they may; this is what you trained for. Trust it.
4. Don’t Draw Attention to Mistakes
Most of the mistakes on a stage that the audience knows about are the ones you tell them about. Really.
Regardless of the type of music you sing, your audience wants to enjoy themselves and they expect to enjoy what you do.
If you forget the words, fill in with another line or make something up. If you completely blow that vocal trill, pretend you didn’t . And chance are, they won’t even remember it.
But tell them you’ve messed up, either by saying something or just by the look on your face and both you and your audience will have less faith in you.
Confidence comes from taking control. Don’t let your own opinion give you away.
5. Perform with Authority
If someone let you get on that stage you have been given permission to be in charge. Understand the responsibility of that and rise to the occasion.
Look people in the eye. Tell them what to expect by introducing yourself, telling something about yourself and letting them know you’re all going to have a good time. Take them along for the ride.
YOU are in charge. If you don’t take the reigns, regardless of your nerves, they know they’re in for trouble. A world of mistakes and mishaps are forgiven for the artist who knows how to perform with authority.
Confidence on stage comes from being prepared and taking charge.
You’d be surprised how many major artists get horribly nervous at the start of a show. Nerves are just part of the game many times.
But when they hit, you’ll know you can fall back on all of the work you’ve done to get there, take the stage and just do your thing.
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