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Thursday, 6 May 2021


Quick summary ↬ Stage performance techniques are ideas
singers can use transform them from an average performer to a
potential star. 

Learning how to perform on stage is a skill that
all singers should master if they wish to be successful in the
music industry.

Making a successful career in any form of live entertainment
typically involves performing on a stage. There are a lot of cool
things you can do on stage while performing as well as things you
should never do. Check out our stage performance tips below.

These are the essential stage performance techniques, as well as
some cool ideas to do on stage. Follow these steps to be a good
performer whenever you sing on stage, even if it’s your first time.

How to perform on stage
Our essential tips for performing on stage:

• Make sure you learn your lyrics
• Practice performing as much as possible
• Sing with emotion
• Break from your character
• Know your audience
• Acknowledge other performers
• Get physical while on stage
• Make use of the whole space and get close
• Express your emotions physically
• Let the audience see your eyes

Tips for performing on stage for the first time

#1 Make sure you learn your lyrics

There’s no point in working on any of these other tips if you can’t
remember lyrics. Practise singing them a cappella and this will
help you remember them. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a
singer with a lyric sheet or a singer that can’t remember their own

#2 Do as much practice as possible

Practising your songs is essential at any stage of your career. Get
it drilled in again and again so that performing it becomes second
nature. This way, you can focus more on performing on stage and
interacting with the crown instead of trying to remember your song.

#3 Sing with emotion

Music can stir up a lot of emotion easily and quickly and can make
for a ‘magic moment’. By adding emotion to a song this will not
only demonstrate your ability to connect with a song, but it will
also draw audience engagement into your performance.

Choosing the right song will help you to create audience
engagement. If you can connect with the song emotionally you are
more likely to sing from the heart, making you feel more confident
in your performance and believable to the audience.

After choosing a song you can connect with, the use of various
dynamics and tone to your singing can also help add emotion to a
song. However, if you have to manufacture it, it’s fake and will be
picked up by the audience.

Cool things to do on stage while performing

#4 Break from your character

Singers who occasionally break from character can make
themselves a lot more relatable to their audience. Don’t be afraid
to show a small crack in your persona.

For example, if it’s a serious song with a sad theme, perhaps ramp
up the emotion at the end, showing how the song has affected you.

Perhaps you might even have a small anecdote you can tell the
audience about, or offer a back story to the song’s lyrics.

#5 Know your audience

Before you show up to your next gig, do your research into the
local area. There might be some recent news on local websites
that you can refer to when opening up a song. This will
immediately create a connection with your audience and let them
know this isn’t just another gig.

Whatever you do, don’t get the name of the city wrong. Touring
artists have a lot to remember already but this happens far more
than you think.

#6 Acknowledge other performers

If you are singing with a band, then give them their share of the

You can introduce everyone at the start of the performance.

Alternatively take it in turns with the introductions, perhaps during a
solo section or when a song finishes where a particular member
played a large part.

The band will appreciate this, and the audience will also be able to
put names to the faces entertaining them.

How to move on stage while singing

How you move on stage when singing will add a huge dynamic to
your performance. Here are some tips for moving on stage and
reasons why these simple hacks can lead to greater audience
engagement and feedback.

#7 Get physical on stage

Moving around on stage is engaging for your audience and your
energy is contagious. Ideally, learn the stage where you will be
performing and, if you can, take dance lessons – singers can pick
up some amazing tips from dancers (and even actors).
Also, focus on moving in a way that complements your song
(tempo, mood and style).

By building rapport with your audience, they can quickly become
your best allies. Singers who create a great connection can mask
mistakes and mean that audience members are more likely to get
into your performance and get involved too.

If you can come across as being likeable, the audience is far more
likely to interact back with you. This will help you buzz off them
and likewise, creating a stellar performance to remember.

#8 Make use of the whole space

Physically moving to the front of the stage also helps to engage
and connect with your audience.
It doesn’t mean you have to use every inch of the stage, but you
don’t want to be anchored to the floor, so make sure you move

#9 Express your emotions physically

Your body language gives the audience an idea of how you’re
feeling when you’re on stage and conveys the emotion of the song.
Becoming comfortable enough to express your emotions on stage
can take time but will come with practice.

This will also help with the trust factor, with the audience feeling
that emotion and connecting with you better.

To encourage audience engagement, it’s important that your facial
expression matches the feeling of the song. It’s no good having a
frown on your face if the song is upbeat or a grin like a Cheshire
cat if the song lyrics are full of emotion.

If your expressions aren’t matching the feeling of the song your
audience won’t get into it as much. The most common cause of not
matching facial expressions to songs is due to lack of confidence
or focusing on words and timing.

A good way to combat this is to practice your song in front of a
mirror and find an expression that looks genuine, click here for
more advice on facial expressions.

#10 Let the audience see your eyes

While performing on stage making eye contact with the audience
helps them to connect with you, it shows you’re confident and
again adds to the interpretation of the song. Standing tall and
having good posture not only helps your performance, it makes you
look professional.

Hot tip ↬ Look at YouTube videos of artists you are influenced by
and watch how they perform on stage . Notice their mannerisms
and look at how they convey emotion during their performance .
However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that manic energy and
movement is going to carry you as a singer.

The energy you put into your movements should also be put into
the singing too!
Things you should never do when performing
on stage
It’s also important to know what not to do when performing on

Whilst there are a multitude of cool things you can do plus great
ways in which you can move, here are some things we advise you
don’t do!
• Stop singing or get distracted by a heckler – it happens to the
best singers!
• Scratch yourself unless you really, really, can’t wait.
• Tune-up your instrument or look unprepared.
• Say sorry and apologise when you make a mistake.
• Keep your eyes closed.
• Fall out with fellow musicians or audience members.
• Do more talking than actually performing.
• Let your ego get in the way of a great performance.
• Forget where it is you are playing and say the wrong city name.
• Get too drunk you can’t play and sing properly.

How and where to gain experience
performing on stage

We see lots of singers enter our competitions who haven’t
performed on stage before. Get ahead of the competition and
perform wherever and whenever you can. Here are four actionable
stage performance tips for singers that you can try out today to
improve your live show.

#11 Consider busking for experience

Contact your local council and ask where and when it is OK to busk
in your town centre. Not every council allows this, but if the
opportunity is there then it can be an effective way to build up your

Singers’ Guide to Busking in
the UK: Licenses, Laws, &
Earning Potential
Busking in the UK can provide
a flexible, exciting platform for
musicians to reach new
audiences. Done right, busking
can be an enjoyable way to
make some extra cash while
sharing what you love with
others around you. In this ‘Singers Guide to Busking in the UK’ we
cover some of the best practices

#12 Start small and work your way up to
bigger gigs

Everyone has to start somewhere, but singing live can be daunting
at first, consider hiring a venue and putting on a show for your
family and friends, once comfortable you can work up to bigger
gigs. Starting with smaller venues gives you time to adjust and
improve your skills and makes it easier to land larger gigs in the

#13 Perform at open mic nights

Look around your local area for pubs/venues that host open mic
nights, contact them and find out how to get involved. If you are
under 18 let them know as some pubs won’t allow you to perform
— though, most will allow it if accompanied by a parent or a
guardian. If they hold frequent events, perform as often as possible
to build your connections and build valuable performance
experience. Networking is a great way of hearing about other live

#14 Put on a live show at home

Do a private show at your house for your friends and family. Your
friends can often be your biggest critics. This can be nerve-
wracking but good friends will always back you when you need
them to! Ask your friends and family for feedback to help you
improve. Remember, this is an intimate gig not a show at the O2,
so tailor your performance accordingly.

#15 Film yourself performing

If none of the above are possible, then film yourself performing,
watch it back, show friends and family and ask them for areas you
could improve. Keep an open mind and focus on those you can
trust to be honest — it will help your stage performance skills and
confidence in the long run!
How to own the stage for a memorable live

#16 Engage with the audience

It’s not all about the voice when performing; you need to be able to
create audience engagement so they’re on your side. It is important
to have a certain presence on stage, which lets the audience know
that you are confident in your singing abilities.

This can range from simply smiling and giving eye contact to show
you’re enjoying yourself, to using your eyes, face and body to
reflect the emotions of the song.

#17 Make use of props

During your singing performance, make use of whatever props you
have to work with. Choreograph and practise your routine; and if
you get the opportunity, in advance, learn the stage so that you can
use the space provided effectively.

 If you have a mic stand, use it
during the softer bits and consider taking the mic out when the
song gains pace.

#18 Consider bringing dancers on stage

If you are performing a fast-paced song on stage, why not bring
some dancers — not only will you create a more enjoyable
performance for the audience, it will be a more memorable one. Of
course, the performance will only be as good as your worst dancer
(so choose them carefully) and ensure you get involved in the
routine so plenty of practice is essential! You will also have to
consider your fitness if doing large parts of the routine otherwise it
will affect your breathing and vocal control .

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#19 Make an impression from beginning
to the end

Walk confidently on stage and maintain that confidence throughout
your performance. It’s easy to tell which performers are nervous
when they walk on stage and it often takes a while to fade. The
more you perform, the easier this should get.

#20 Talk to the audience during the

performance between songs
Talking to the crowd. Announce yourself when you come on stage
(if you’ve not already been announced). 

If you are performing a full
set, and you feel it is appropriate for the mood, use any transition
period to introduce your next song and, at the end of your set,
thank the audience and let them know you’re grateful that you have
had the opportunity to perform for them.

Do you frequently perform live? What stage
performance tips would you offer to singers who
are just starting out? We would love to hear from
you in the comments below.

#21 Coordinate your outfit

What you choose to wear can impact your performance and help
with audience engagement. You may think the crazier you dress the
more you will stand out, but you should ask yourself whether your
outfit also matches the style of song you have chosen.

If no, then there’s no harm in re-thinking your outfit. Not everyone
can pull off a Lady Gaga number.

Let us know how you like to prepare for a stage
performance or some cool techniques to do on
stage while performing in the comments below

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