Be it a band or a soloist, their first impression on stage can make or break a performance. It may seem just a couple of words to some, but to the ones who are about to perform on stage (or are almost done with their set), it’s their chance to show a piece of themselves to the crowd whom they’ve been dedicating their hard work and practice. That is why the manner of introducing musicians to an audience can be extremely important.
So how do you introduce band members or musicians on stage? Be it while preparing your speech or speaking on stage, here are a couple of tips that professional bands and professional venue hosts have shared.
Preparing An Introduction For Band Mates And Musical Performers
Know your performers.
Before you actually form your introductory message, it is essential to get to know who you will be introducing in the first place (if they’re not your band members). You can do a quick research on the internet such as how they have started, whether they’ve been to a prominent music school, toured with a famous act, or simply to learn some of their relevant achievements.
It will also be appropriate to gather information from the performers themselves. This way, you can highlight the exact things that they want their audience to hear, further building their confidence right before they step on that stage.
Obviously, if you have a chance to talk with them beforehand, the best thing to do is simply to ask them if there’s anything they’d like you to highlight.
A good introduction is also a way to acquaint the audience with the performers, so it is necessary to give them accurate information about the ones performing. This way, they’ll have an accurate impression of what to expect from the musicians.
Put it in writing.
No matter how experienced you are in speaking in front of the public, chances are, you might still forget some details in your rehearsed introduction. In this case, writing down the most important points in your speech can help you remember.
It could just be some bulleted points or a few sentences that you would like to speak of accurately. You may write this down on a small piece of paper that you can take along while on stage.
Validate the pronunciation of the important details.
In some cases, you’ll encounter names of people, places or music titles that are not that familiar. Some people may also have unique pronunciations of their names especially if they came from abroad, so confirming this one directly with the performers would be best to avoid mistakes.
Surely, the performers will be glad to hear their name or their band’s name correctly before they show up on stage. Same goes with the place they came from or the music piece that they are about to present.
Know your audience.
Just like singing or playing your instrument, speaking to the public will require you to connect and build rapport with your audience. That’s why it is equally important to know your listeners beforehand. Additionally, you will want to speak of the things that this group of people would most likely relate to.
Will it be a group of parents who can’t wait to witness their children’s recital? Then you would want to talk more about the students’ progress in the music school.
Will your audience be several fans for a young boy band? Then you may want to add up some playful trivia about you and your band members.
Is the audience comprised of honorable guests and important people? Then using formal language and gestures may help you do the job appropriately.
As you can see, your introduction will depend a lot on the type of audience that you expect. Being prepared for the speech and gestures that will suit your audience is a sign of professionalism.
Tips while introducing band members or musicians on stage
Focus the introduction about the performer.
Even if you’ve constructed and rehearsed your introduction, there will always have room for some impromptu in front of an audience. It would be very tempting to sneak in additional information while speaking, and if you are not careful, you’ll end up talking about the things that are not related to the current performer or performance.
Hence, it is important to keep track of your speech and focus your introduction about the musician or the band that is about to set that stage. That small piece of paper that you’ve prepared can assist you in focusing on what you really need to talk about.
Keep it complete but concise.
A good introduction is comprised of the important details about the performers, but keep your speech concise as much as possible. You wouldn’t want to bore your audience with an irrelevant introduction, about information they simply don’t care about. Just make sure that everything the performer wants to include and the audience wants to hear are in there.
Engage your audience.
You’re there to connect the performers to the audience, so no matter how short your time will be to speak up, it will be essential to engage with your audience. Depending on the type of crowd, you may sneak in a bit of humor, ask them questions or talk about something that they can relate with.
Indirectly ask the audience to applaud.
The applause from the crowd would be the signal for the musicians to take the center stage as well as a form of warm welcome for their performance. So how will you ask the audience to applaud without directly instructing them? You may use clues or hints in your final message!
For instance, you could say… “So please join me in giving a warm welcome for (name of the musician or band)”. You may also simply clap your hands first and surely, the audience will follow.
Common mistakes when introducing band members or musicians on stage
Being too casual
You may need to engage with your audience to the extent that they can relate with. Still, you wouldn’t want them to think that the performance is simply nothing to be serious about. Take hold of yourself and keep track of your speech. Always remember that you’re there to formally introduce the musicians for their performance and not to entertain the audience yourself.
Of course, the tone you give off should reflect the venue and the type of performance in which you’re introducing.
Unnecessary gestures and mannerisms
Swaying while speaking? Tapping your feet? Fixing your hair every now and then? We all have that gesture that we never wanted, but now that you’re up on stage in front of an audience, it would be best to keep them within limits.
You could take note of your unwanted gestures and minimize them by practicing your speech in front of a mirror. Here, you’ll notice your eye contact, body language, and stance while speaking, along with practicing how to control these mannerisms in front of many people.
Sure you can add up a bit of humor to spice up your speech, but never crack jokes at the expense of the musicians or band that you will be introducing unless they are your band mates, and they’re cool with it.
This mistake usually happens if you have been closely related to the performers or you’ve worked with them several months before the show. Though you all find jokes within the classroom or work settings funny, they may not see it the same way in front of an audience that they are working hard to impress. So reserve those funny comments later and simply focus on the task at hand.
So overall, a good performance introduction is relevant, accurate, concise, and engaging. Prepare and practice- that’s the best way to introduce musicians or band members on stage to an audience. We hope that these tips allowed you to set up the tone for the performers and helped them show their best performance yet!