stage002Musicians are always trying to find ways to make their voice, their beats, and their riffs stick in a person’s head. A common misunderstanding, though, is that making a name for yourself will happen by just pushing out song after song after song. When talking to fans about what matters most to them, it’s clear their loyalty is based on more than hearing a catchy tune. Listeners just want to feel connected with a musician. It’s can be simple to go out on stage and play your set list straight through, but how can you ensure the audience is seeing who you truly are?

The first important thing about stage presence is to have fun! People go to concerts and shows to have an enjoyable time, and they want to see that you are having a blast as well. The most memorable stage performers are often jumping around, dancing, and engaging the crowd. But if you don’t have a naturally outgoing personality, that might seem awkward and insincere for you. The key to stage presence is honoring yourself and your music. If you feel more at home tapping your toes with the rhythm as you shred your guitar, the crowd will still pick up on your sincere passion. Just be sure to look up and soak in the crowd’s enthusiasm from time to time.

It’s important to be yourself, and that includes sharing your story. When you began learning to play music, you may not have thought that it would lead to sharing your heart, but your personal expression will leave a lasting impression. If you are the songwriter, offer a short intro to share why you wrote that song. Let the people see that your raw humanity, that you experience heartache, frustration, and joy just like them. If you are not the songwriter, instead explain why the song is so meaningful to you. Chances are that adding a personal touch to your performance, like sharing a story, can make the song you play an audience member’s new favorite.

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