Image of microphone with large audience in background“All musicians should be able to address audiences confidently.”
The Musician’s Way,
p. 176

Speaking from the stage can work wonders to enhance audience-performer rapport.

Here are six guidelines for musicians, adapted from Chapter 9 of The Musician’s Way.

6 Public Speaking Tips for Concert Musicians

1. Speak First
If you plan to greet listeners at the start of a concert, speak immediately following your entrance, as applause ends, rather than deferring until you finish setting up and tuning.

2. Welcome, Inform, and Entertain
Warmly welcome your listeners, give an overview of your program, and then intersperse spoken tidbits throughout your show. Connect to people’s emotions by sharing concise, evocative stories.

3. Manage your Delivery
Speak with ample volume and clarity, pause slightly between phrases, and shift your gaze among different areas of the audience. Even if you rehearse every word, speak in ways that sound unscripted. At unamplified classical concerts, unless you’re performing in a tiny venue, use voice amplification.

4. Be Congenial but Concise
Audiences attend concerts to hear music, not monologues.

5. Be Yourself
It’s your distinctive personality that attracts listeners, so project your true self – your doing so can also help quell nervousness.The Musician's Way book cover

6. Practice Your Speaking Skills
To bolster your abilities, incorporate speaking into your practice performances and enlist a recorder. Also seek feedback from colleagues and mentors.

Recommended recorders: Zoom H4n (audio); Q4n (audio & video)

If speaking from the stage seems alien to you, don’t be intimidated. With practice, your on-stage manner, like your smile, will become a genuine expression of who you are.

See Parts I & II of The Musician’s Way for inclusive performance-preparation guidelines.

Related posts
Becoming a Confident Performer
The Essence of Stage Presence
Mastering Performance Skills
Practicing Performance

© 2013 Gerald Klickstein
Photo © razihusin, licensed from

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