Performance Etiquette

Performance Etiquette
Performance etiquette is your physical presentation that you bring to stage, and as a performer you want nothing less than to leave a lasting impression. Having performance etiquette will allow you to feel and appear more confident on stage, as well as showing respect to your audience. Here’s how to achieve the performance etiquette that you require!

Act professional
No one is a professional performer from the first moment that they get up on stage, however that doesn’t mean that you can’t act professional. In acting professional, ensure that you set up your equipment with plenty of time prior to performing, this will allow you to check volumes and effects and avoid any mishaps during your set. If there was a performer on prior to you, offer them a round of applause from you and the audience before your set as a symbol of gratitude and to show your support for fellow artists. Announce your name before you perform so that the audience is aware of who you are, even if the audience is only small. Always thank the venue for allowing you to perform at the beginning of your set by saying how happy you are to be performing there and again at the end show your appreciation.

Dress Appropriately
Always dress comfortably for your gig, but dress up more than you usually would but to suit the venue. Make sure that you revise the dress code of the venue if they have implied certain rules regarding dress code, such as covered shoulders or enclosed shoes. Wear clothes that define you as an artist and the impression that you would like to leave on your audience, as what you are wearing is the very first thing the audience will see.

Be aware of your surroundings
When performing at restaurants, you must be aware that you are not the only one in the room. Restaurants tend to get quite noisy when you combine chatty patrons and performers, so don’t have your equipment at an overbearing level. Check with your manager and the staff if they have requested background music or a full live performance and adapt to the situation accordingly.

Be prepared
Setlist, warmups and tuned instruments must be priorities on your check list, as well as knowing your set back to front. By doing so, you will be confident and prompt prior to performing. Write out your setlist a day before your performance at the least. Do your warmups on the journey to the venue and tune your instruments well before you leave the house, but double check the tuning before jumping on stage. Don’t forget to check that you have everything you will need!

Your presence is just as important as the music. Exude confidence and presence when performing; smile and engage the audience by announcing the name of the song, even talk about the song briefly; if it has meaning to you or why yourself/the artist the composed it.

People listen with their eyes before they witness your talent, ensure that their first impression is their best impression of you by enhancing your performance etiquette. Combine all of these tips and put them into good practice to not only build your confidence as a performer but to influence your audience.

Happy performing!

Written By

Isabella Crebert is a junior journalist/administrator and writes for the National Music Academy. Issy also takes lessons at the academy in singing and guitar and performs regularly with NMA as a gig opportunities student.