Upcoming Bands: Work on your Stage Presence
Communication is such a key to keeping your audience involved
So many times, I go see new and unsigned bands, and I leave the venue slightly disappointed and empty. Not because the music wasn't good, but because of the mediocre performance that they gave.
Stage presence is a key to success, make no mistake about it. When fans pay to come see you perform, make sure they leave satisfied. It is something that must be worked on because so few are actually born with it.
Communication is such a key to keeping your audience involved. Talk to them. Give them tidbits on why the song was written. Fans love the personal notes and it helps them bond with the members of the band. Look them in the eye. Touch people's hands. If you're a male artist who attracts a mainly female fanbase and you see a guy in the audience, show your appreciation by shaking his hand or giving him a high five.
Large or small, that whole stage is yours, so use it! Take a stroll Stage Right. Back to center. Upstage. Are people in the forgotten seats? Play to them. Downstage–maybe head Stage Left. Hang out there for a few. If there's a loft or balcony, look up. Are there industry-types in the loft? Surprise the hell out of them by acknowledging them like any other audience members. They may not respond, but that's OK, it's your stage not theirs. Go back and see the people Stage Right. Mix it up. Adjust your pace with the tempo of the music. If you play guitar and venture too far from your mic, give yourself time to get back for your next vocal part.
And Keep the energy up. Once you've got the audience locked in, don't let them go.
Acknowledge the crowd and show passion and feeling. This is extremely vital for large stages, say a venue capacity is 10,000 or more, or when there's a wide distance between you and the audience. For a smaller stage or more intimate venue, gesture less broadly but use your body language to claim your space. Think "Tall". This is what American Idol judges mean when they say "own it,"...and make the audience feel them too. Create the moment.
Work on it. Perfect it. To some, this all comes naturally, however, to most, it must be learned and practiced. If this is how you plan to make your living, then you must work at your craft.
Then, most importantly, tell them who you are, thank them warmly for coming out to the show, and get off the stage.
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