3 Tips for Getting Over Stage Fright
For the introverted out there, getting comfortable on a stage in front of anyone can be terrifying. But it doesn’t have to be. There are steps you can take as a musician that will aid in helping you to feel relaxed and assured when performing. Actually, when broken down, developing a confident mindset on stage is simple and not something to be afraid of. However, it is important to keep in mind that this mindset does not come overnight. Acquiring a true self-confidence can take years for some, but it is well worth the effort (both your brain and your music with thank you!). Remember that a crowd can only go as far as the act enables them to, you control the success of the show. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few simple concepts that help when dealing with stage fright.
Interact with the Audience
For some, this may seem like jumping right in front of your fears but hear me out. Learning to talk/communicate with a crowd is super helpful in creating a sense of ease on stage. A little talking goes a long way. Using the simple line, “Hello we are _____ _, thanks for coming out,'' is a quick and easy way to break the ice at a gig. Once started, a conversation with the audience can continue on in between songs for the rest of the set. From jokes to playful banter, there are plenty of ways to fill the void of silence after each song. Everyone is going to have their own unique form of communication that works best, it’s only important that you find what works for you.
Know Your Stage Goals
Whenever you step in front of an audience know your goals. Are you trying to get everyone to have a good time? Do you want people to sing along with you? Are you looking for huge applause breaks? Is the main goal of your set to be entertaining? It can be very uncomfortable to be on stage when you have no real idea of what you are trying to make happen. Be honest with yourself about what you would like to get out of your performance and lay out what needs to happen to achieve that. This tip requires some trial and error. It might be a while before you figure out how to do a guitar solo in a non-annoying manner, that’s okay, just learn from your mistakes. Once you have a clear intent to your performance, you will feel much more at home in front of the audience.
Don’t Worry About Making Mistakes!
This is a BIG one for musicians in particular. Too many people spend their time on stage dreading the things that could go wrong. It’s important to keep in mind that music is supposed to be fun, nobody is going to become irate because you played a few wrong notes. In fact, for many live music lovers, the imperfections are some of the most memorable and enjoyable moments in a set. Basically, don’t sweat it, humans make mistakes.
It might seem like achieving a full-fledged stage presence is not a reality for you… it can be. Everyone possesses the ability to gain confidence and to improve their mindset, it just comes down to being willing to put in the work. The key to making my tips (and anybody’s) work is to rinse and repeat. The more times you do something that makes you uncomfortable, the more it becomes difficult to feel uncomfortable. The more times you motivate yourself to take the stage, the more you don’t really need the motivation. Ultimately, this is all up to you. Rule your stages folks.