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Whenever I perform, what I’m excited about is sharing a very real connection with the audience.  a personal & emotional connection with individual people.  I want everything I do to help me make and build on that connection.  I want them to know that what I’m doing is important to me and that I hope what I’m doing will be important to them.




There’s SO much that can be done to maximize the good impression you have on your audience, and to encourage them to listen.

Enter the stage with an eye on instilling confidence and interest in your audience, so that you don’t lose them even before you start.
Greet the audience and introduce yourself and your songs in such a way that the audience is listening even before you start to play.
Make eye contact with the audience and build your own confidence on stage.  This will consist of very specific & easy pointers that really work.
Connect with the listeners and make each song & each line impactful.
What to say and not say to the audience and in your song introductions.
Create song beginnings that help the audience to 'buy in' instead of chatting.
Create drama & anticipation when starting songs.
Use your posture to encourage your audience to engage.
Craft song endings so that audiences know WHEN to applaud, and so that applause will be almost irresistible.
Know WHEN to say 'thank you' after a song.  Most people do this in a way that makes no sense.
Create a good setlist (song order), including between-song banter.

The next CAPTIVATE YOUR AUDIENCE MUSICIANS' WORKSHOP is Sun Oct 29 from 2-4pm at Silence, 43 Oxford St, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.




When I started singing, I was in a rock band. The rock star model informed me to sing right into the mic. To touch it to my lips and to ROAR into it. "Fearless" was the implied motto. Sound people loved me ... except when I got really loud. Then, sound people ... and audiences ... cursed me.

I have a lot of friends who started performing in cafés and at open stages. They were introduced to the legacy of folk & bluegrass, where mics were to be treated like an unwelcome stage companion. They were often too loud if the singer got close, and the person in charge didn't know much about how to do sound, or they habitually walked away before making the necessary adjustments. Performers in these scenes are left under-heard, and with thin-sounding voices.

Had my rock friends or my folk & bluegrass been coached better, they would always be heard at an appropriate loudness for every syllable and note, even if they're momentarily super loud or whispering. They would be able to look at the audience or at their chording hand without their mouth leaving the mic.

Nothing I am going to teach you was EVER taught to me. As far as I know, no one else teaches this. I've learned it because I am a seasoned singer who displays all of the challenges a singer can pose to a microphone, and because I'm a live-audio engineer.

I've worked with countless singers, made observations, tested hypotheses, checked the science of microphones, and gone back to the drawing board many times.

I've arrived at what I think is the ideal way to use a mic on stage, proven by countless singers and sound people.