We all want our performances to be powerful. But just what does that mean? It better mean that you powerfully connect with -- and emotionally impact -- the heart of your audience.
Top mistakes which sabotage your performance power:
- Singing too loud
Even screaming rockers should never push 100% of air pressure when singing. Pull a scream instead... it will be more powerful! In fact, you actually sound bigger with more resonance from breath control that sends vocal sound through an open throat, not 100% air pressure pushing through your vocal cords.
Your vocal volume should draw audiences into your performance, not push them away. Read the room... are people's ears bleeding? (and maybe your throat, too?) Back off the pressure (and add passion)!
- Singing too long
Caution: While you are on stage, don't apologize. Confidently occupy the stage for the time you're there... and then get off leaving them wandering what just wonderfully hit them.
- Talking too much
Again... read the room and the reaction to what you're saying. Tell them only what would draw them in-- not just what you want them to know.
Caution: Do not talk too fast, do give pauses so the audience can absorb what you're saying... but spend your words like big money and keep it short!
- Using the wrong body language
And don't point at people! Talk about pushing... how do you like a finger in your face? Draw your audience in skillfully with body language and gestures appropriate to the venue, the occasion, and your genre of music.
- Being negative
Yes, it can connect you to them by revealing a hard fact about your life, but always spin it positively. People are drawn towards the light, and music is at it's most powerful when it makes the world a better place.
Even if you speak to the ills of the world (some of the post powerful kinds of music teaches and warns) - make your performance cause the audience to think about what they can do about the problem instead of plunging them into hopelessness.
Genre needs to dictate diction, yes, but even the slurriest genres need to be understood. Don't over do it... just make your communication clear. If you're lyrics aren't strong enough to draw people in, choose another song:)
- Forgetting to be generous
Share the glory with others. Where time allows, thank people... side musicians, co-artists, hosts, support people and servers at your venue. When time does not allow, do something to communicate gratitude to your audience. Take a pause to acknowledge applause. Don't 'diss' their gift back to you by immediately turning your back to them after each song.
OK did I miss something? In your own role as audience, what did you experience that drew you in or pushed you away from a performance? Got links to performances that you consider particularly powerful? Your comments welcome!