First of all, what is stage presence? Stage presence is having the ability to command the attention of an audience through the way you act on stage. Having good stage presence is one of the most important things to master (besides your musical instrument) if you wish to have consistently great and memorable performances.
As a keys player, for me, being able to having good stage presence can be a challenge since I’m stuck behind my keyboards and unable to move around the stage. However, there are other techniques I have adopted to increase my stage presence, and these are the techniques I am going to share with you today.
1. Interact with the audience!
The audience are there to watch you perform and enjoy themselves, sure they will enjoy your music but it has been proven that an audience enjoys a performance if they can relate to the performer on a more personal level. You have to have charisma if this technique is to work to it’s full potential, introduce yourself after your first one or two songs and explain what you’re about, the audience will appreciate the feeling that they’ve met you before!
Once you’ve done this, try ask the audience to do something! Get them to sing along to a song or even simpler, get them to clap their hands. They’ll enjoy your show a lot more if they feel like they’re allowed to get involved and it will also make you more memorable.
2. Make it obvious that you are enjoying yourself!
This one sounds like a given for most but you’d be shocked at how many acts I’ve seen that just stand there and sing into the microphone. These sorts of people bore me beyond comprehension! I understand that some performers struggle with confidence which is why they are so rigid when performing but eventually that should fade with practise, the more gigs you do, the more confident you’ll become!
Try moving around a bit during your performances, take the microphone out of the stand and walk about the stage, this doesn’t seem like much to some but it is 100 times better than just standing there! Obviously, as a keys player I can’t more about the stage so instead, I nod my head or “headbang” as some people call it! I also communicate verbally with the odd “woo” or something of that kind, it’s difficult to explain using words but it does add to my performances and helps the audience enjoy my sets, these ideas apply to drummers as well seeing as they also can’t move away from their kit.
3. Go into the crowd!
Trust me, audiences feed off of this technique! If you’re able to do so and it’s safe, go into the crowd and interact with them that way, shake their hands, sing to them. It really works a treat because they feel even more drawn into the show which will of course make them have even more of a blast, which is objective for the night, to make sure your audience have a good time!
A bit of a warning for this one, make sure that it is 100 percent safe to do this during your set, in other words, only do this if you are using a WIRELESS microphone! It’s all well and good thinking that a wired one would be long enough to sustain the crowd walking , but you really don’t want to take that risk of getting snagged by the wire and causing accidents! I would also pre-warn/double check with the venue that it is okay to do this, just in case theres some form of health and safety guidelines that you’re not aware of.
4. One final tip
If you’re struggling to find inspiration with regards to stage presence, take a look at the live performances of well known musicians! One artist in particular whose stage presence I admire is Jazz musician Jamie Cullum, he does all sorts of crazy stuff throughout his performances, he’s favourite thing to do is to jump off of piano’s, look him up! seriously I think some of you would appreciate his performances and music!
Feature image credit: http://www.rockinggodshouse.com