To improve your stage presence is not as hard as it seems. There is a method that makes some performers shine and appear with confidence in their whole body language, while others seem nervous and cannot create the same connection to their audience.
Whether you are a music performer, a speaker just someone who has a message… now is the time to start practicing to create the ability to perform naturally and confident while winning the crowd over with your charm and charisma.
How do the superstars do it?
Do you sometimes ask yourself why some stage performers just bring it every single time? Why performances of global stars like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars are not only unique but almost magical? These top stars and their band members do not only have the crowd eagerly waiting for the next song but also work hard and constantly on their stage presence.
With a performance thought out in every detail and a unique stage presence, the master of them all – “Jacko” – has thrilled tens of thousands of spectators at his performances, catapulting his songs into the musical universe. Things like his appearance, the way he moves and the intention he put into it all played together.
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Is stage presence something you can learn?
Now you might think that you either have good presence on stage or you don’t, but I don’t see it that way: you can definitely learn and be trained in having stage presence. Stage performers are not born with that gift.
In this article I will show you how you can win over your audience members with 7 simple exercises. You can start these exercises right now, do them a few days before performing in front of an audience and some of them can also be used as a booster right before entering the stage.
What is stage presence?
When I talk about good stage presence, I do not mean the pure physical appearance. For me, presence on stage is connected with charisma which is amplified through your body language. You want to create a feeling of presence in your audience.
You reach this energetic state by controlling your thoughts and by being present in the here and now. The audience and you form a union. You interact with each other. You are the conductor who directs the events.
Through constant training, you succeed in captivating your audience again and again. At the same time this is a longer process of becoming aware.
If you manage to improve your effect on stage, you will be surprised to find that this will not only help you on stage but also improve your everyday communication. You will see how this will immediately expand your comfort zone.
Firstly I will introduce you to seven small exercises including several valuable tips with which you can very quickly perform greater on any stage.
7 simple exercises that immediately improve your stage presence
1. Mark your territory
Focus your attention and alertness wherever you go. Get into the habit of “marking” unknown rooms and places. This will give you a feeling of security. You control the room, nothing can upset you, you practically inhale the atmosphere of the room surrounding you. You can do this exercise anytime and anywhere.
My tip before a performing on stage: get familiar with the stage and with the room in which you will perform. Don’t arrive five minutes before and jump onto the stage. Enter the room, sit in the audience. Notice the air circulation. See which way the light goes. Touch the walls that border your creative space today. Feel the room and its energy. If you have already rehearsed your performance regularly a few days beforehand, you create a so-called morphogenetic field. In other words, you have left an energetic footprint that you can use.
On the day of your performance, make sure that you move in the same paths as you did on the days before during your rehearsals. You step equally into the already existing energy field. If you succeed in this, performing in front of a live audience will practically be a piece of cake.
2. Love your audience
This is an exercise I do regularly just before performing on stage. Stand behind the curtain and feel the energy that your audience members are radiating.
- Is it joyfully excited?
- Is it tense?
- Do you notice a nervousness?
Practice over and over again at perceiving the energetic fields. Every person, every living being, every room generates energetic streams. Think about how you want to make them feel. Send your audience consciously positive feelings. Love your audience and your audience will love you.
The power of thoughts and your own creative power can become conscious to you through visualization exercises. How do you want to feel like? Visualize receiving a standing ovation from your audience at the end of your performance in the run-up to it. Imagine your audience enthusiastically listening to your speech.
Visualizations are particularly effective if you capture them on a large whiteboard or a large sheet of white paper. You focus the energy on a positive outcome.
4. Put yourself in the state you want to see your listeners in
This is a powerful exercise for your stage presence to carry out just before you are actually performing on stage. Be with yourself, bring yourself into the emotional state that you want to make them feel. Get on fire for your performance.
Mobilize all your strength, all your positive thoughts for your performance. Close your eyes and put your hands on your heart and feel your own life energy. Remember: if you want to light a fire in others, that fire must first burn within you!
One of the best tips for you to improve your presence on stage is to give yourself the space to arrive. The audience’s first perception of you is a crucial moment that decides whether your performance will be a top or a flop.
Be yourself and give the audience time to perceive you consciously. Make eye contact.
Don’t come in, wriggle around and attack the audience with a flood of words.Ronny Leber
Some entertainers and comedians have gotten into the habit of doing this: they come in and immediately a word bombardment is shot at the audience. This may be successful in some genres, but should be a conscious choice and not something that is done because an individual has got into the routine of doing it.
Speakers have a stronger presence when they radiate calm and first of all… arrive. You can find more helpful tips about the power of body language in my blog post about non-verbal communication.
6. Timing is what counts
The right timing is not only crucial in everyday life, but also extremely valuable on stage.
When you are on stage, perfect timing is like a well-rehearsed choreography. You take breaks, build up dynamics, decrease your speed and avoid speaking and acting too fast, approach the verbal climax and take your audience with you.
As an exercise, I recommend that you rehearse the perfect timing several times. Let a friend film you, study the video and try out several variations. You can also consult a trusted person for feedback. If you feel that your initial chicken dance has now turned into a royal waltz, you have reached your goal.
7. Involve the crowd
Your audience is part of your stage presence. If you don’t manage to pick up the crowd where they stand, your whole performance, your visualizations and your timing can be as good as it gets, but the overall performance can still be a failure.
You can practice this wonderfully in front of a mirror, making eye contact with an imaginary audience. Imagine who your audience is: what are the needs and expectations of the people listening to you?
Good stage presence is not only important for the stage
As you have read, stage presence is more than just the physical presence on a stage. Practice the effect that you desire to have upon your listeners. Because everyone you meet in your everyday life is somehow your audience that you want to inspire.
To improve your live performance and presence on stage doesn’t have to be hard work. Next time just go out there and have a good time.
What makes a great stage performer for you? What does this person have to do to captivate and inspire you? Let me know in a comment and if you want to work with me on your stage presence, please write me a message.