Ask any singer, no matter how successful, and they will tell you that they get nervous before a performance. It's a fact of life. There are so many facets to getting up and singing a song in front of an audience that it's impossible to be totally sure that everything will go well. The key to being a confident singer is to find ways to accept this fact, to feel the fear and do it anyway. There are numerous techniques that can help calm frayed nerves and a pounding heart. Here are a few ideas.
One of the most important ways to remove doubts before a performance is to make sure you are properly prepared. Unlike exams, it's not possible to cram your learning into a few hours the night before – that would simply guarantee a tired voice and lacklustre performance. So it's vital to practice and learn everyday for a period of time before the day of the performance. This is going to make you feel confident in your ability to actually remember the song. If you have never performed to an audience before, part of that preparation could be to perform in front of a friend or a relative – it might feel a bit uncomfortable, but it will go along way towards preparing you for the big day. Try not to look at your music just before you go on this will just make you more nervous.
It's absolutely essential to warm up before a concert or performance. This will boost your confidence by letting you know the voice is working well. You should aim to get your lungs and diaphragm going as well as the vocal chords, plus a bit of stretching to wake up the whole body. Try 5 to 10 minutes of gentle warm-up exercises, done a little while before the performance, ideally 2 or 3 times through the day – try not to overdo it as you might end up tiring your voice.
There are plenty of relaxation techniques which can help reduce jittery nerves. These are great to do just before a performance to enable you to approach the event in a calmer way. Find one to suit you, but try to keep it short, so that you do not panic about time and add to your stress. Including shoulder and neck relaxing exercises is helpful. If you do not have time to search for a particular technique, just try deep breathing. For example, breathe in slowly and fully, being aware of your diaphragm then breathe out as slowly and completely as you can.
Deal with Your Thoughts
There is no doubt that our own thoughts can be the main obstacle to confident singing. All sorts of unhelpful self-critical thoughts can rise up as we anticipate the performance ahead. Some of my own thoughts have included: "What if I make a mistake", "The audience might dislike me", "Maybe I'm not as good as I think I am", "I do not want to let anyone down "He said. A lot of people swear by positive thinking, for example, repeating statements such as "I am a great singer who fulfills with skill," or "I sing with ease and confidence." I believe this can be very helpful. Personally, I have found the following technique to be very effective. When a negative thought makes you feel nervous and anxious, ask yourself "Who would I be without this thought?", Then imagine how you would be without the self limiting beliefs that sabotage your confidence – when you do this as imaginative as you can . An example answer to the above question could be, "I would be free to give my all to this performance, to soar, to sing with all my heart, to make the song truly beautiful and unique. "
Remember that stage fright and nerves are to be expected. So do not fight them, instead, use them to give yourself the energy your performance needs. I believe this is the key to being a confident singer. In time you will find your own special "rituals" to help keep calm and I hope the above tips will help you to perform at your very best.