14 Steps towards a Confident Performance

9 Feb

Performance advice sheet

The following advice is to be used to create a dynamic and effective piece.

  1. Are you making eye contact with your audience? (Eye contact is a device of communication, use it to connect with the audience in a way relevant to your piece)
  2. Projection/volume (how will the audience know how good your poem is if they can’t hear you?)
  3. Physicality and movement (how can you use your body to emphasise your piece?)
  4. Your voice is not a machine, it’s an instrument. (Consider pace and tempo. Don’t rush through your piece. Take your time…)
  5. Everything you do, as soon as you step on stage, is part of your performance, so justify every movement you make. (Ask yourself, why am I doing that with my body, does it contribute to my piece?)
  6. Props (keep them to a minimum, 99% of the time they distract more than anything else. Challenge yourself by relying on your words and body)
  7. Consider emotion. (What do you want the audience to feel? How are you going to make them feel it?)
  8. 8 second rule. Your piece isn’t finish until 8 seconds after your last word. Don’t start to leave the stage or lose your voice during the last two lines. Go out with a bang.
  9. Quality rather than quantity. (You will have your own things that you want to highlight. Try and focus on conveying fewer things well, rather than being vague about many).
  10. Try to memorise and become comfortable with your piece (though it is not compulsory, it will make your delivery stronger because you won’t have to hold and look at a piece of paper)
  11. Explore your physical resources (clap, sing, stomp, etc. But don’t overdo it, only add what enhances your piece)
  12. Be comfortable in your piece, the audience will be as at ease as you look
  13. Remember how you felt when you wrote the piece, or remember a time when you felt the emotion that charges the piece. Tap into those real emotions so your performance doesn’t come across as contrived)

All these rules can be broken and have exceptions however, if you are breaking them ask yourself WHY? If it is just because you can’t be bothered or want to your piece would probably be stronger if you didn’t.

Learn the techniques, because then, when you break them, people will know your doing it for a reason. 


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