Why say anything during a singing performance? It should be a strategy to endear and connect an artist to the audience. Yet one of the biggest turn-offs I see in amateur performers is when they do a long spoken introduction to the first song of their set! The crowd may politely listen, but trust me, you've shot yourself in the foot before you've sung your first word.
Great performers and major artists tend to start a show by plunging right into a riveting opening song. They may say hello and wave or something over the musical intro, but they make sure to earn the interest of the audience before they do any lengthy stage talking.
As with most of life, it's best to give before you expect to get. Give your music, get their attention, then offer a story about a song when it would add something to the show... but only when you can feel the audience in the palm of your hand. And... don't mess up a good thing by talking too long even then.
Learn to read the crowd. Are they starting to drift? Do you need to go straight into another song or do you need to break things up with some storytelling about how the next song came to be or why you chose it? Are you part of a multi-artist event where the last thing everyone wants to hear is a long talking spiel about... anything!? Or do you really need to allow the audience a more intimate connection with you in a short, authentic, in-the-moment chat?
Raise your antennas, become aware of what the audience wants from you. Do it enough and you'll intuitively know the best places to talk during your shows. Yes, sometimes it's magic to be spontaneous, but mark probable stage talk spots on your set list. It's a very a good idea to pre-plan so you have a more succinct idea of what to say instead of going on and on (and on and on)...
Don't get me wrong... stage talk well done can connect you with an audience at a deeper level. But leave them wanting more... for goodness sake don't leaven them wanting less!
I'd love to hear from you... do you have a positive or negative experience with stage talk as either performer or audience member?