When it comes to a successful career in any form of live entertainment, stage performance is the element that transforms a musician from just a singer to a potential recording artist. Learning about various styles and techniques will not only help to curb the nerves and enhance your stage presence but will also ensure that you develop into a well-rounded, balanced and intelligent performer. Knowing how to perform on stage is a skill that all vocal artists should master should they wish to become successful in the music industry.


Top 10 Stage Performance Development Tips


Learning your lyrics is the most important step for stage performers because nothing looks more unprofessional than a singer holding a lyric sheet or one who can’t remember the words to their chosen song.  Practice singing a cappella to help you more easily remember the lyrics.


Practice, practice, practice. Knowing your songs well by practising them, again and again, will make performing them second nature, giving you the best opportunity to interact with your audience instead of getting distracted by trying to remember your words. Watch how your idols perform and use some of their techniques that are best suited to your character and style in your own performances.


Breathing exercises can really help you to control your breathing and the inevitable adrenaline rush whenever you feel nervous. Practice focusing on the pace of your breathing and be conscious of it when you’re on stage. Consider joining a yoga or Pilates group to learn how to slow your breathing down and control it.


Knowing your audience will allow you to create an immediate connection with them. Research the area where your next gig will be held and try to relate to something significant you can refer to when opening up a song. There may be something in the recent news or on a website that you can use.


Engage with your audience verbally. Announce yourself as you come up on stage and talk to them during the performance, between songs. Whatever you do, make sure to get the name of the city or town right or you’re sure to lose your audience before you even start performing. At the end of your performance, always make sure to thank the audience for the opportunity and their support.


Make eye contact with your audience as this not only shows confidence but it helps them to feel connected to you. Convey professionalism by standing tall and holding a good posture.


Sing with emotion to create that magic moment that connects the audience with your song and your performance. Because music itself can stir up emotion quickly and easily, your song choice is very important when it comes to creating believability of how connected you are to the song as well as how it will translate into audience engagement.


The use of various dynamics and tone in your singing can also help add emotion. As an added technique, you can practice ramping up the emotion and conveying hints of vulnerability when singing certain songs, such as one with a sad theme.


Your body language will further enhance your stage performance and create a trust factor with the audience. Not only does it convey the emotion of the song, but it shows that you are confident and comfortable being on stage. Make sure that your facial expressions match the feeling of your performance to draw your audience in. A good way to practice and find expressions that look genuine is to sing in front of a mirror.


Moving around on stage will infuse energy into your performance which is often contagious, quickly making the audience your best allies. Focus on moving in a way that complements your song in tempo, mood and style. Take a few dance lessons if you’re not a natural. Practice in front of a mirror or film yourself so you get a realistic view of how your movements will appear to others.


Singers who create a connection through movement can often mask mistakes as the audience gets involved and interacts enthusiastically. Your likability will also help to create a stellar performance that will long be remembered.


Share the limelight with other performers if you are singing with a band. By introducing them to the audience either during a solo section or when a song finishes in which a particular performer played a large part, will both create better engagement with those watching and will make the band members feel appreciated.


Gain experience performing on stage and get ahead of your competition by taking every opportunity you can to perform for a live audience. Start by performing for a supportive audience like at family functions or functions hosted by friends and then move your way up to small venues like coffee shops, churches or house parties as your confidence grows. Find out about open mic nights at local bars or restaurants. If they hold frequent events, try to perform as often as possible to build up your connections and performance experience.  Also, keep your ear to the ground through networking or social media about other live stage performance opportunities.


Keyboard Magic offers mic technique as well as stage performance as part of the curriculum so that proper training for every aspiring vocal artist is assured. Give us a call on 011-425 35 09 or visit us at keyboardmagic.co.za for more information.