MusicBizAdvice.com answers your questions about the music industry.
Q: How can I improve my stage presence? It needs work, but I’m at a loss.
A. Stage presence is something that comes with time and experience in front of a live audience. But if you’re willing to work hard at it, there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process:
- Play, play, play. Play out everywhere, to a variety of types of audiences. The more types of people you get in front of, the more situations you’ll be able to handle, which will make you more confident.
- Study concert videos or DVD’s of artists known in the industry for being great live performers. Jon Bon Jovi, Shania Twain, and Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon are a few who are excellent at working a crowd. Watch the show once all the way through, then turn the sound off and observe what the performer is doing to get reactions from the crowd. Watch how they communicate with the audience. Don’t copy their movements, but use what you’ve learned as a basis to learn how to communicate with your own audiences.
- Choose two or three people in different sections of the audience, and play to them. But do it in a way that makes it look like you’re looking at larger sections of the crowd.
- To get the back of the house involved even when you can’t see the people well enough, focus your vision in several places at the back of the venue–a doorway, the bar, an exit sign, etc.–and play to an imaginary person there.
- Go to every live show you can, and learn from what you see.
For more specifics on exactly what to do onstage to win the crowd over, check out our article, From Lead Singer to Front Man: 10 Ways to Improve Your Stage Presence and Entertain An Audience.
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Answers in the MBADC Q&A are to be taken as general advice only and are not intended as a substitute for legal advice from a competent entertainment or intellectual property rights attorney.