Step 1: Renew Your Desire to Sing
Performing confidence begins with your desire to do something unique, creative and wonderful with your voice.
Renewing your desire to sing is the first step because when you are out of touch with “why” you sing and forget your own dreams and desires, the quality of your performances and auditions suffer and you become less confident in your abilities.
Tip: Remind yourself before every performance why you are choosing to sing. Clear performing intentions will give you greater confidence onstage.
Step 2: Transform Your Fear
Performers often confuse nerves with excitement, which look very similar in our bodies.
Consider that the energy that shows up before a performance is a PERFECT physiological response to the heightened needs of performing.
Tip: Invite the wonderful performance energy you get leading up to your performance by telling yourself you’re excited rather than nervous!
Step 3: Tame Your Tension
Don Greene says: “Muscle tension is the biggest threat to your performance.”
However, focusing on the tension and trying to release it can actually create more tension!
Tip: Instead of thinking about how tense you are and trying to relax, notice places in yourself where are easeful and free. It takes more effort but will ultimately be more useful in your performing.
Step 4: Feed the Constructive Critic
Inside of you are 2 kinds of voices: constructive (yes) and non-constructive (no).
Most artists give too much attention to the their non-constructive critic, which can show up fiercely in performance!
Therefore, it’s important that you also feed your constructive critic. That starts in the practice room!
Tip: Consciously seek out things you like about your singing during your practicing and performing. In other words, feed the constructive critic.
Step 5: Use the 4 Pillars of Performance
Create a positive connection with:
- Pillar 1: You – your entire coordinated Self (mind, body, spirit, voice) as the vehicle of musical and dramatic expression
- Pillar 2: Your Colleagues – the people onstage that you are collaborating with to express the music
- Pillar 3: The Music – the stuff of expression
- Pillar 4: The Audience – the people that have organized their lives to attend your performance
Tip: Always include an imaginary (or real) audience into your practice. Make use of old stuffed animals or toy figurines. It seems silly but it helps prepare your mind for the audience when they are actually there!
Step 6: Sing the the YES!
We all have fears that the audience won’t like us. But if you assume the worst, then you sing to the NO, which is very disempowering.
Singing to the yes is a performing mindset that assumes that the audience is a YES to you (and you are YES to them).
Remember: the audience is on your side. They want you to do well. They’ve organized their busy lives to be there!
Tip: Do some detective work around your relationship to the audience. Do you sing to the no or to the yes? Practice singing to the Yes!
Step 7: Celebrate Success
Celebrating successes both big and small is a key element of learning and improvement.
As you practice and prepare, remember that the reward matters.
When you follow a plan (like this one) and have success from that plan it’s important to celebrate your achievements.
It’s a skillful way to motivate and encourage continued learning and growth.
Tip: In order to celebrate success, you need to define it. Define what success means to you. Create several success milestones, both micro and macro, along the way as you prepare for your performance or audition. As you achieve them, celebrate your success!
Want to learn more about these 7 Steps?