Many of us as professional or emerging artists want to develop and showcase skills in music, dance or other art forms. We spend tons of effort, time, and money in helping them learn these creative skills. It is definitely not very easy on us given our busy lifestyles. However, all the efforts seem worthwhile when we watch ourselves perform on stage either in concerts, contests, or any other public forum. The icing on the cake is watching the audience applaud!
While there is a lot of focus on developing the skills, at times we tend to slack or not give as much attention to the presentation, which is equally important if not more. Whether you or your child is performing at an event, auditioning, or creating an online video, presentation matters a lot. If you have professional help, nothing better than that. But if you are doing it on your own, there are some things that you need to keep in mind to create a great impression on your viewers.
Let me share some tips based on my experience organizing events and working with artists at all levels.
Appearance: The first thing that your audience notices is how you look, and what you are wearing. That creates your first impression. Dress up appropriately, anything that fits the occasion of the event-formal, festive, or cultural etc. Pay attention to your hairdo and makeup. Do not assume that since it is an online event, people will not notice. Proper costumes make a huge impact specially if it is a dance performance.
Introduction: Even though your name must have been announced several times during event promotions etc. it is important that you provide a brief introduction about yourself and your performance at the start. Let the audience know and connect with you. This also sets a tone for your audience and they kind of know what to expect.
Posture: As much as your appearance is important, so is your posture-how you sit or stand. Never slouch! Your posture reflects your level of confidence and gives an appealing look to your audience. It shows that you are well-prepared and ready to take on the forum without any fear.
Overall demeanor: Your facial expressions, and your body language creates a general impression about you on the audience. Never fidget with your fingers! Smile when you can. Try to create an eye contact with the camera. It makes a connection with your audience who is waiting to watch you perform!
Audience engagement: Performance is not just about delivering your art, it is about entertaining the audience, engaging them with your art so at the end of it, they leave with a memorable experience. Getting into the character while performing, making audience eye contact, your body language – all add up to making an impact on your audience.
Ambience: Even though it is not a live stage, it is important to ensure the background you have chosen for your online performance looks pleasant and appealing. Depending on the kind of event, may be add some plants, a floral arrangement, some artwork or having nice curtains in the background might create a nice backdrop.
Video and Audio quality (DIY): If you have a good, high quality video recorder, nothing better than that. Just ensure audio is captured well depending on whether you are using a mic, or a soundtrack. Today we have the comfort of having our smart phones, that capture a decent sound and video quality. iPhone seems to be a good choice, and possibly others. A few things to keep in mind while recording:
· Ensure you mount the phone or the camera on a stand, so it is not shaking.
· If you want to record from various angles, sure do but ensure the camera is stable or else it is disturbing to the viewer’s eyes
· Do not be too close to the camera. Keep some distance.
· It is best to record horizontally unless stated by the organizer or the media format needs you to record vertically.
· Ensure there is proper lighting in the space you are performing
· Look into the camera (eye of the camera) while performing so you can make eye contact with your virtual audience.
· Choose an enclosed space so audio quality is good. Test your sound quality before you start recording.
Hope these tips are helpful as you and your kids take advantage of the various online opportunities to showcase your talent. Please consult your teacher who can be a great guide and help you with some good suggestions.
If you are showcasing your performance in a public forum, in my opinion you should try to be as professional as possible. Each event can be a great learning experience and prepare you for the next big opportunity – online or live!