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Ultimate Performance Tips #5: True Charisma

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

One of the most fundamental things we can do as artists are just looking in people's eyes during a performance. Why do so many people create followers online singing? Their faces tell a story. They may have a beautiful voice, but again we listen visually first. Every performer on the stage whether virtual or in front of a live crowd has this ability to use eye contact to connect and engage with the audience. It is essential to think of this when building your moments that will help you tell a story.

How many times have you seen musicians playing up to the ceiling or down to the floor when performing a solo. Many singers tend to stick behind a microphone stand or the comfort of an instrument, rather than opening up to an audience at a point in their show. It is better to sacrifice a little of the musicality of a performance to enhance stage presence. From a virtual perspective, setting up nice scenery and cramming in a band into a single shot has less effect if the audience cannot read your expressions. Good lighting, practice, and simple choreography can help either situation provide expression to a moment. You also want to stay away from closing yourself off. Turning your head, hand gestures, and a more open stance provides a feeling of safety and confidence to any audience.

Some people are born with charisma and can light any room with their personalities. Others need to learn this skill. Tom Jackson's, “Live Music Method,” explains being confident on stage can be accomplished with simple factors.

Factors for being charismatic:

  • Confidence

  • Authority

  • Humility

Confidence comes from absolute practice. It is in the planning and rehearsal of your performance so you know and can freely put on a show. You’ve taken it home. You know the material inside and out and the emotion behind the words you are saying or melodies you are playing.

You have been given the authority to entertain. Either by someone purchasing tickets to a live event or by virtue of a platform you’ve created to share your talent. It is expected by an audience this is your job. There is an expectation of professionalism and talent allowing you to show up with authority and own your performance.

The third factor, true humility, doesn’t mean being humble. It is knowing your role. It is your job to show up and put on an amazing show authentic to who you are. You are competing with yourself and those on a similar platform. Remember an audience is looking for meaningful connections with you where you are right now in your journey.

Being charismatic positions you to turn audience members in any situation into superfans. Men and women are instinctively attracted to winners. We all want to be on a winning team. Your performances matter, because you are building your community connecting and engaging with them. Human beings make a decision on whether you are a winner or loser within the first 20 seconds of a conversation, says Vanessa Van Edwards. In her book “Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People,” we position ourselves to succeed through our confidence and body language. Confidence, authority, and humility help position you to win that game. As you build a community of followers, they will do what you tell them to do. They will buy your album, attend your events, and share your story. They feel emotionally connected to you being on a winning team.

A big detractor from charisma is having too much to say or show. A lot of people think it is important to post every day, learn, create, and put out a lot of content. For live musicians and artists, having a huge repertoire may seem key to having confidence in your ability to engage a wider audience. Building an engaged crowd has never been about the quantity of what you deliver, but the quality of it. Each element in the journey you are creating for your performances needs to be thoughtfully planned out. This will allow you to have greater charisma and deliver the ultimate performance.

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