How to have a good stage presence
Written by: Mallika Kelkar
The utmost important skill for an artist is his expertise and talent in the art. But mere talent will only take you so far. For an artist, whose expertise lies in performing art, it is imperative that he is able to engage his audience. Performance is not only a treat to the ears, but also to one?s eyes. Hence, an artist should have such a charming presence, that it should be difficult for the audience to take their eyes off him.
It is not unheard of the artists to resort to gimmicks on stage. While some wear a funny or weird attire, while some engage in ?publicity stunts? on-stage. Such gimmicks initially do catch the public eye, but if the series of gimmicks continues, then the audience gets used to it and don?t find anything new in it. On the other hand, if you exhibit a certain type of charisma and energy while being on stage, the audience cannot help but take notice of you. The confidence you show on stage, your mastery over your talent???everything is noticed by the audience. Hence, as an artist, one must have a good stage presence. Here are some ways to develop a good stage presence.
- Develop your uniqueness
If you want to leave an impression on your audience and want to be remembered, give people something different, something unique. If your on-stage persona is just like every similar to other artists out there, then you will always remain ?one of those artists?. You can watch videos of famous artists like Michael Jackson or Queen, to take inspiration or tips. But remember, inspiration doesn?t mean copying; you have to do something of your own. To develop a unique persona of your own, you need to embrace yourself. Find what makes you unique, what sets you apart from other performers and use it to develop an on-stage persona for yourself. Your everyday persona and on-stage persona need not be same, what is necessary is that you feel comfortable in both these personas and can turn them on or off, whenever you want. If you don?t look energetic or confident on the stage, the audience would not pay attention to you.
2) Get out of your comfort zone
Getting comfortable with your on-stage persona doesn?t mean that you just stick to that. Always be ready to experiment and try out new ideas. Take on new challenges and remember that it is okay to fail. A great performer isn?t someone who has made no mistake ever, a great performer is someone who acknowledges his mistakes and learns from them. Sticking to one thing and not trying out new things on the stage, will make your performance one-dimensional. Just doing one thing, the same, every time, will bring in a kind of monotony to your performance. The audience will know exactly what you will do; they wouldn?t be excited about your performance. So, be ready and brave enough to experiment and try new things, you can always switch back to the old ways if it doesn?t work out. But just imagine, what if getting out of your comfort zone actually works out for you?
3) Connect with your audience
What makes an artist a great performer, is the artist?s ability to connect with his audience. The more the audience feel involved in a performance, the more invested they would be. Try to make eye contact with various members of the audience, and not just two-three of them. If you are a singer and if the song genre supports, use the timeless technique of asking the audience to sing with you. If that is not possible, make an emotional connect with the audience. Emote yourself on the stage. Let the audience see your emotions on your face and relate to or feel connected to you. There are two ways in which you can endure that your audience gets emotionally connected to you???your performance feels relatable to them or your performance feels so raw and from the heart that they can?t help but feel the emotions you want them to feel. In either of the case, you are winning their hearts.
4) Be passionate and confident about your performance
A great part of your on-stage persona is demonstrated the minute you show your passion towards the art. The very basis of a good stage presence is the performer?s passion and his/her confidence. If you perform just for the sake of performing, your body language will indicate it and the audience will feel it too. To get your audience involved in your performance, an artist himself/herself should be involved in their performance. Be confident in your own skills and talent. People will not appreciate you until you appreciate yourself. If you appear doubting or afraid on stage, people will discard you and won?t take notice of you. First impression matters, always. And a performer?s first impression on stage is his body language. Show such confidence while you are on the stage, that people are forced to take notice of you.
5) Practice as much as you can
To feel confident about yourself and your performance, you need to just practice. Take every opportunity you get to perform in front of an audience. Practice just by yourself, or practice in front of friends or family members; just don?t stop practicing. You can even record your practice sessions and later review them to find flaws that you can work on. You will find yourself get better with every practice session. And the better you get, the more confident you become and the more confident you become, the chances of your making mistakes lessens. Though it is practically impossible to not make a mistake ever, you can always try to minimize the chances of making them. Practice sessions can also double up as experimental sessions, try out something new and practice it before you take it up on stage.
Having a great stage presence is not about having no fears, it is about facing those fears. Even the greatest performers feel nervous before their performances but what counts is their confidence and their performance. So, be brave, be confident and step on the stage.