Have you ever watched a band or artist perform on stage and found yourself completely sucked into their performance? The musical experience they take you on is so incredible that you can’t help but give your full attention to them. Now at the same time, have you watched a band perform that had no spark to them at all. A group that was just kind of there playing music in the background. While there could be a lot of reasons why a band can successfully capture a crowd’s attention or not, one of the biggest key factors is their stage presence.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Stage Presence?
- 2 How To Improve Your Stage Presence (10 Tips)
- 2.1 1. Be Present
- 2.2 2. It’s Not Just About You
- 2.3 3. Eliminate Silence
- 2.4 4. Plan What You’re Going to Say
- 2.5 5. Body Language
- 2.6 6. Engage with Your Band
- 2.7 7. Have Fun on Stage
- 2.8 8. Create Moments Throughout Your Performance and Capitalize on Them
- 2.9 9. Put More Thought Into Your Outfits
- 2.10 10. Practice the Entire Show
- 3 Final Thoughts
- 4 More Articles:
What is Stage Presence?
Stage presence is essentially the ability to pull the attention of the audience into one’s performance. Performers with good stage presence are able to have a connection with the audience and envelop them with the story that is being told, in this case, the story that is being told by their musical performance.
Having good stage presence will make your overall performance much more enjoyable to watch. It can really separate the amateur performers from more experienced ones.
Now let’s get to the 10 tips that will greatly improve your stage presence so you’ll be ready for your next performance.
How To Improve Your Stage Presence (10 Tips)
1. Be Present
We want to start off with one of the most important skill to have that will drastically improve your stage presence. The ability to be present. It’s easy for us to drift into thought, constantly thinking about other things that aren’t related to what is happening at the moment. When you’re on stage, you have to put all of your focus and energy to the performance at hand.
Don’t worry about things that happened prior to the performance, or even about things that are going to happen afterward. The past and future don’t matter, only the present, which is you giving the best performance you can on stage.
This is the foundational skill that you’ll need if you want to improve your stage presence and even your performance abilities. Having the ability to be present will allow you to utilize every other tip we discuss to their full potential.
2. It’s Not Just About You
It may be you and your band’s performance, but without an audience, your performance is just a group of musicians on stage playing music. The sooner you realize that it’s not all about you, the sooner you’ll be able to prioritize who’s more important, your audience.
The second you and your band step on stage, it’s all about your audience and how you can make them feel with your performance. What can you do to ensure that you have their attention for the entirety of your set? How can you ensure that they all leave tonight being impacted by your performance?
As a performer, it’s your responsibility to provide your audience with a musical experience that takes them on a personal journey through the songs you play.
3. Eliminate Silence
One thing that can take an audience completely out of the moment is awkward gaps of silence in between each song you and your band plays.
As soon as a song finishes, everyone on stage should be engaged and ready for the next count in. Nothing spells out amateur more than a band looking at each other silently on stage to see if everyone is ready for the next song.
Plan your set to have no gaps of silence at all, whether it be to have your frontman engage in some stage bantering with the crowd, or music interludes that transitions into the next song smoothly. Have cues in your frontman’s banter that indicate when to start the next song.
Eliminating silence during your performances will ensure that no one is ever taken out of the moment. Your entire set will flow and won’t give time for the audience to even think about doing something else.
4. Plan What You’re Going to Say
Like we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to eliminate any potential gaps of silences in your show. One good way to eliminate silence is to have your frontman banter with the audience in between songs. There are people who are naturally gifted at talking with crowds, however, for most, it would be a great idea to have what you’re going to say planned. This ensures that you can bring value to the crowd when you’re bantering with them as well as avoid saying anything you wouldn’t want to say in the first place.
Also, as we mentioned, you can plan verbal cues that indicate to your fellow bandmates when to start transitioning to the next song. The transition will naturally flow with your frontman’s bantering, constantly keeping the attention of the audience on you and your band.
This makes your overall performance more engaging and active. Instead of just having a setlist of music to play, you’ll be able to develop a relationship with the crowd that will leave a bigger impact on them once you’re done performing.
5. Body Language
A really important factor to your stage presence is how well you can connect with your audience. This is where proper usage of body language comes in. When you’re on stage, take a look at your audience and embrace them. Don’t just look at your instruments and fellow bandmates, make eye contact with the crowd. If you hear someone cheer extra loud for you and your band, point them out and thank them personally. Maybe you see a cute guy or girl up at the front, give them a wink and smile. These little things go a long way.
Proper usage of body language conveys confidence and allow you to further build a connection with the people watching you perform.
There’s a lot of information that you can convey with body language. Even little things like a smile after completing a guitar solo, or a nod to a fellow musician when everything is going perfect shows the crowd that you’re enjoying yourselves up there on stage. Showing these aspects of humanity on stage allow you to be more relatable to the crowd.
6. Engage with Your Band
Nothing’s more awkward than watching a band on stage with no chemistry perform for an hour-long set. Not only does it translate to the audience that you could care less about performing together, but it also creates a dull atmosphere on stage that’s not engaging at all. How do you expect to engage with your audience if you and your band isn’t engaging with each other?
Put an effort in acknowledging each other on stage. Whether the lead guitarist nails that guitar solo or the drummer squeezes in an awesome fill that flows well with the song, acknowledge each other by showing your excitement and support.
Cheer each other on when performing on stage together, even if it’s through your body language. Bring out the best in each other at all times. This brings the energy on stage to another level that will also transfer over to the audience. It makes the overall atmosphere fun and inviting, which can significantly improve you and your band’s stage presence. This leads us to our next tip for improving your overall stage presence.
7. Have Fun on Stage
Something that many performers forget to do once they’re performing on stage is having fun. Everyone’s focused on making sure that they play every song correctly with little to no mistakes at all. While it’s important to perform each song as accurately as possible, don’t forget to enjoy yourself up there.
Show the audience that you’re having the time of your life on stage. Even if you’re not in the greatest of moods, keep in mind, that you were hired to entertain. If it doesn’t seem like you and your band is having a good time, how can you expect anyone else to.
If you really need to, fake it till you make it. Your audience will enjoy your show much more than if you were just performing on stage with no energy or enthusiasm at all. It might even change your actual mood to be more positive and happy.
8. Create Moments Throughout Your Performance and Capitalize on Them
Every performance will have its ups and downs, but it’s up to the performers on stage to capitalize on them and create moments. Whether it’s a fast tempo song that gets everyone dancing or a slow rock ballad that makes everyone cry, a good performer(s) will capitalize on these types of moments, enhancing their overall stage presence.
You could even plan ahead to create these moments. For example, halfway through your set, you slow everything down, dim the lights low, and perform some songs all in acoustic. Then once you’re ready, you and your band can transition to a higher energy song to change the pace and mood.
Creating these special moments or noticing and capitalizing on them during a performance will capture the attention of the audience naturally. People will be drawn to these types of moments because it becomes more than just a musical performance. It becomes a musical experience.
9. Put More Thought Into Your Outfits
A little thought and effort into the outfits that you and your band wear can go a long way. It helps engage with your audience visually and if done properly, will enhance your overall stage presence potential.
Here’s a good mindset to have. When you’re on stage, you get to be the coolest person in the room. You can wear outfits that you wouldn’t normally wear in your everyday life. It’s okay to wear something that completely stands out because you’re going to be the center of attention in the venue anyway.
Take some time to try and understand the venue and type of gig your performing so you can plan outfits accordingly. Also, find a good balance in wearing something that is true to you and your band.
Consider having a theme to work with when putting together outfits. It can be a cool way of presenting yourselves as well as creating group synergy. And last but not least, keep in mind that an elevated stage makes what you’re wearing on your feet much more obvious. Be very cautious about your shoe choices.
10. Practice the Entire Show
If you want to have a good stage presence when you perform, it all starts at your practice sessions. During rehearsals with your band, don’t just go through each song that you’re planning to perform. Practice as if you were performing live on stage now.
Figure out what you and your band’s weak points are and work on improving them during practice. Plan out all of the interactions you want to have on stage with your bandmates and the audience.
Once you have everything laid out, go through your entire set with everything included. This means you’re going to go through your introduction, the stage bantering/transitions in between each song, the moments you plan to create on stage, and your closing. It would even help to practice in any special outfits you and your band plan to wear on performance day.
Having practice sessions like this helps you be more comfortable with the set you have prepared so once performance day comes, you and your band will be confident. This confidence translates to a stage presence that completely captures the audience’s attention.
It’s very important to have a good stage presence whenever you perform. When it’s your show or concert, don’t perform like you’re just the music in the background, be confident and grab the attention of the crowd. These tips will help you improve your stage presence, overall making you a better performer. Remember, performing on stage with excellent stage presence is a skill that takes practice. The more you do it, the more you’ll improve. Keep practicing, experiencing, and learning. Best of luck on all of your future performances!