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The Art of Engaging Your Audience

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Have you ever been on stage? Have you ever faced the audience from the stage? The intense and dazzling light on the dais will almost blind your sight, shadowing the spectators sitting in the dark. However, if you look closer, you can see some faces in the first few rows, eagerly waiting for your performance. Their eagerness is precious. Their attention is gold for a performer. 

Regardless of the kind of art you are presenting, whether a dance form, a music concert, drama, or playing an instrument, true creativity lies in connecting and staying connected with the audience. Let us discuss how to hold this attention until you get off the stage.

Share your story. Share how the art form was introduced to you, your first encounter with that art, and the people who inspired you to pursue it. Share your thoughts on what you would like to add to it and how you would like to pursue it.

Try to relate your performance to a recent event. Explain the source of inspiration for the act you are going to present. Explain its significance, your ideas, and the value it is adding to your life. Also, mention if it relates to a particular region, festival, occasion, faith, ethnicity, or belief. Discuss if you have any messages to convey through the act.

Work on your eyes. While we focus on presentation techniques, body language and gestures, it is equally essential to practice positioning your eyes with finesse to make your audience feel like a part of the event. Face the audience not only through your body but also through your eyes. Make it look like you are looking straight at one of them. However, do not make eye contact with any of them.

Choose your makeup and attire wisely. Remember that the first thing an audience notices about an artist is his or her attire and appearance. Make sure that you feel comfortable in your outfit and makeup. An attractive and expressive outfit conveys a lot about how you like to present yourself on stage. Also, the right amount and style of makeup help the audience understand your character and message well. 

Plan an impressive beginning. A good start is half done. Make sure that you impress the audience at the beginning of your performance. Start energetically and stay energetic. Practice well to maintain the same amount of energy until the end of your performance.

Have an imaginary audience while you practice alone and try to indulge in your act while facing them. Also, you can ask your family to become your audience and then take feedback from them.

Utilize the complete stage. Make sure that your performance covers all the space available on the stage. Do not stick to one corner, or even just at the center, especially when you are performing solo.

Assure that the audience recognizes every artist while performing in a group dance. Plan your act such that every dancer, singer, and musician gets a chance to perform solo for a few seconds or a few minutes, while the rest of the artists may freeze for some time. 

Include entwined twins or Jugalbandi. A captivating composition in dance and music called jugalbandi is extremely efficient for attracting all the attention of the audience. There is a great scope for adding creativity to this type of composition. By competing in the middle of the performance with your fellow artists, you are indirectly giving them an opportunity to judge your skills.

Manage the tempo of your performance well. Avoid planning the entire act at a monotonous speed. Make it intense in between, slow down for a while so you can take some rest, and then gradually make it more intense. This will make your art look more creative. Also, try to add a variety of content to your act.

In a group performance, communicate with fellow artists through facial expressions. Let the audience know that along with dancing together, you guys make a good team and you enjoy performing together. In a solo performance, communicate with the musicians through expressions and hand gestures.

Keep it simple and understandable. For example, if you are performing a dance where you are conveying a story or character through hand gestures, then choreograph it in a simple but creative way. Avoid complicating it unnecessarily; instead, just try to make it look more attractive and endearing. 

Get out of the stage fear and stay confident. One cannot think of connecting with spectators if he or she is afraid of being on the stage. So work on getting comfortable and confident when on stage. To know the tricks for handling stage fear, checkout this blog.

While performing online, it is important to check that your audience enjoys a glitch free delivery of the event. Make use of digital tools that are dedicated only to the performing arts. It is always advantageous to take the help of creative entrepreneurs or digital creators. 

Connect with yourself. Connect with your deepest self and the energy around you so that you can express yourself flawlessly. If you become the vibe of the place, not a single person from the audience can stay disconnected from you. 

Lastly, remember that the body achieves what the mind believes. Assume, accept, and maintain that every person in the audience is all eyes and ears on you. So, own their complete attention and let the art flow through you. 

Checkout a live stage performance during one of our events.

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The Art of Engaging Your Audience by Surabhi Thakur
For a successful performance, it is very important to enage with your audience and make a connection with them. Surabhi, being a performing artist herself, shares her insights with us.
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