Have you ever seen an artist or band perform on stage and were completely mesmerized by their performance? The musical experience they offer is so amazing that you cannot help but give your full attention to them. Now at the same time, have you seen a band or artist perform that had on spark to them at all?
There are plenty of reasons why an artist or band can effectively capture an audience’s attention. Nevertheless, the biggest reason is their stage presence. In this article, we will take a look at everything you need to know about stage presence.
What is Stage Presence?
Stage presence is basically the ability to capture the audience’s attention into one’s performance. It is something you find hard to define as an audience member, but you definitely know it when you see it!
Stage presence is not about being beautiful, tall, or having rippling muscles. Rather, it is something that makes your performance stand out and makes you memorable as a performer.
Artists with good stage presence can connect with the audience and engross them with the story that’s being told. In this case, the story is being told through their musical performance.
Having an excellent stage presence is going to make your overall performance much more fun to watch.
Why Is Stage Presence Important?
Stage presence is extremely important as it can make or break your career in terms of success. Along with experience, hard work, and skill, stage presence can produce a combination that transforms “good” performers into legends and stars.
Stage presence is also important because it makes your performance entertaining and enjoyable to watch. It also gives you room for minor mistakes. Since you are so engaging to watch, audience members will not notice the small mistakes you make, such as choreography fails or technical problems, etc.
In addition, having a good stage presence can increase your fanbase and build your overall image.
How to Have Good Stage Presence
Having a good stage presence isn’t for the faint-hearted. It isn’t about hiding behind that huge cello or shrinking into a back row behind the drum set. A stage presence is about being in your true element as a musician, sharing the best version of yourself and other performers around you.
But how can you have a good stage presence if you already feel a little scared in front of other people? Well, here are some tips that can help you improve your presence and your performance.
1. Stay Present
We’ll start off with the most important skill you need to have that will significantly enhance your stage presence – the ability to be present. It’s quite easy for us to drift into thoughts and think about other things that aren’t related to what’s taking place at the moment. When you’re on the stage, you need to put all of your energy and focus on the performance at hand.
You don’t need to stress over things that took place before the performance or even about things that are going to happen later. The past and future don’t matter. You only need to pay attention to the present, which is all about giving the best performance you can on stage.
This is the basic skill you need to have if you wish to enhance your stage performance and your performance capabilities.
2. Create a Unique Image of Yourself
Whether you are part of an orchestra or play in a small quarter, there are several ways to develop a stage presence that’s entirely your own. For instance, you might have to wear an ordinary black suit during a performance, but you can also wear interesting shoes or a bright-colored necktie to stand out. Some of the world’s best artists have hairstyles or outfits that are too “out there.” While you’re having fun and enjoying, continue performing to your highest standards.
3. Cut Silence from Your Shows
One thing that can take an audience entirely out of the moment is awkward periods of silence between every song you and your band plays
As soon as a song ends, everyone on stage needs to be engaged and prepared for the next one. There’s nothing more amateur than a band looking at one another quietly to check if everyone’s ready for the next song.
Plan your set to have no gaps of silence at all. For instance, you can have your lead singer engage in some light banter with the crowd or music interludes that transition into the next song seamlessly. You can have cues in your banter that indicate when to begin the next song.
Eliminating silence during your performance will make sure that the audience is engaged during the whole performance. Your set is going to flow, and your audience won’t even think about doing something else.
4. Pay Attention to Your Body Language
A really important factor to your stage presence is how well you’re able to connect with the crowd. This is where you need to learn about the right usage of body language. While you’re performing on stage, look at your audience and embrace them.
Don’t simply look at your fellow bandmates and your instruments. Rather, make eye contact with the audience and interact with them. For instance, if you hear someone cheering super loud for you, point towards them and thank them. Things like these go a long way in building your stage presence.
The right use of body language showcases confidence and allows you to further create a connection with the people watching you perform.
There is plenty of information that you can convey through your body language. Even small gestures such as a smile after finishing a guitar solo or a nod to a fellow band member when everything is going perfectly show the people that you are having fun on stage. Showing such aspects of humanity on stage allow the crowd to relate with you more.
Performers with Excellent Stage Presence
Here is a list of some artists who have an excellent stage presence.
1. The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an iconic English rock band that has been around for more than five decades. Their stage presence is electrifying, and their performances cannot be missed by any rock and roll fan.
2. Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars’s captivating dance moves, along with his band of backup dancers, make him one of the best performers that this music era has witnessed.
The multi-talented Queen B delivers non-stop energy. She headlined the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2018, then went on to release “Homecoming,” a documentary film showcasing the whole BTS process of making her performance. The documentary showed the months of dedication and planning that she devoted to her live performance, making her an absolute must-watch.
Not every artist manages to sound the same during their studio-version recordings and their stage performances, but Eminem is truly one of a kind. Being a hip-hop legend, he surely knows how to put on an incredible show.
5. Lady Gaga
Guaranteed to give a memorable on-stage performance, Lady Gaga is one artist with a brilliant stage presence!
Last Few Words
Stage presence is surely one of the most important–and most challenging–parts of being a musician. Just remember that by working on it, you are supercharging your musical career. You will be putting on better shows that will result in more fans and lead to international fame!
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.