Article by Nia Padilla
5 Tips To An Unforgettable Performance
- Body Language
When you walk on and off stage, your body talks before you do. People can sense your energy level from the moment you walk into a room, so as a performer, it’s essential to be aware of how your body speaks to others at an event. Such actions like standing, sitting on a stool, or even your overall posture and choice of outfit can influence how your energy is being transferred to your audience during a performance. Even closing your eyes too much during your set can disengage your audience and hinder the effectiveness of your performance. As an audience member, they want to feel invited into your world and recognized for being there and subtle glances for eye contact can help create moments in your music. You also have to ask yourself, how do you want someone to feel about you and your music? Do you want them to feel at ease? Or understood? Or do you want them to get up out of their seats and dance with you? Once you figure out what you initially want from your own music, your intention will subconsciously shine through your body language.
- Back Story And Context
Less is more. When sharing the inspiration behind one of your songs, it’s best to keep your intros short and sweet. Unless a song has a unique or funny backstory, let the music speak for itself. Also, avoid saying things “this next song is about”. Get more creative! However, when you’re buying time while you or a band member is tuning their instrument or you’re changing positions on stage, take this moment to let the audience members know where they can follow your socials and keep up with your music making journey. Unless you want to artistically incorporate silence into your performance, having something to say or do in between songs gives the audience the impression that you were prepared by having a well thought out show.
- Stage Space
Whether you’re singing solo or with a band, take note of how you can use the space around you to further your engagement with your audience. Depending on the venue layout, be aware of how you are angling yourself on stage. You never want to give your back to the audience or exclude anyone from seeing you perform. Little adjustments like making sure your face isn’t in the shadows or making the conscious effort to move around the stage to encourage more audience participation is also an essential tip on improving your stage presence.
Nothing will give you more confidence than practicing your set. This includes practicing mic control and knowing your own personal dynamics. Especially when you are aiming to achieve an emotional arc in your music, knowing when to pull back on your louds and when to intensify your softs are essential in a performance. The last thing you want as a performer is to disrupt the emotional flow of a song by mishandling your mic. If you can, use your sound check and make sure you test your levels so you know what to expect when you’re up on stage. This also includes making sure you can hear yourself on the monitor and not being shy when it comes to adjusting the sound during your set. Always be respectful towards your sound engineer but these little adjustments also shows the audience that you know what you’re doing.
Showing gratitude will always be the name of the game. If you are performing with a full band, make sure you acknowledge your band members for rocking out on stage with you. As an audience member, it’s always a turn off when an artist forgets to recognize their band members and makes their performance a little too egotistical. So strip the ego and thank those who helped you get to where you are today. Also, don’t forget to shout out the person who booked you for the show and thank the sound engineer who is helping you sound the best you can. And most importantly, show the most love to the people who came out to support you! They are your tribe and it’s your responsibility to cultivate your fan base and make them feel welcomed and supported by you in return.
- Body Language
In summary, it’s important to be be aware of your body language, keep the show moving with a story, maximize your space, be confident, and show gratitude to your audience. Music and stories are our precious gifts to the world, let’s make every performance count. How will you use these ideas the next time you perform? I’d love to hear from you.
Article by Nia Padilla