There are 4 qualities that all confident singers develop –says Simone Niles
Don’t think of confidence as an unchangeable quality you inherit in your genes.
Confidence is something that you can begin developing at any point in your life.
What it takes is a commitment to looking at your environment and experiences – and practicing some changes in your reactions.
Here are some ways that performers I work with become more confident.
1. Choose the Right Inner Voice
What about that voice we hear inside our heads? The one that says, “you’re not good enough” or the other which says, “you are a good performer”. We all have internal dialogue, which either cheers us on or puts us down. Bearing that in mind, you don’t need to listen to nor believe those internal comments, which do not serve you well.
2. Develop Your Skills
Sometimes when you do not feel confident, it is simply related to your lack of skill in general or a particular area of your performance. This can be addressed through thorough and extensive practice and guidance. When you feel confident with your skills and preparation, you are more likely to have an excellent performance.
3. Overcome The Fear of Failure
The possibility of failure can put a performer under immense pressure often resulting in performance anxiety. It is not possible to be anxious and confident at the same time; one cancels out the other. So by recognizing that failure is only feedback, and by getting rid of those feelings of anxiety you can increase your confidence, knowing that it is the mistakes that make you learn and grow as a performer, and ultimately a person.
4. Open Yourself Up to Feedback
It takes a lot of guts to truly express yourself with others. How do you feel after putting a lot of effort into your performance and then to hear people say that they were unimpressed? Doesn’t it feel better to hear positive comments instead? The positive ones validate you and can make you feel that it was worth it. Does that mean the negative comments do the opposite? The negative ones may not be easy to hear, but they give you an opportunity to grow as a performer. What you need to do is to take what is helpful from the feedback and discard what isn’t.
Which one of the areas above leaps out at you as the one quality you next need to develop?
Choose just one and start developing your confidence this week.
My Reactions To This Week’s Peer Review Vids
Ryan Pels – Stormy Monday (Cover)
Ryan, you are so comfortable in your own skin. It is great to see a multi-instrumentalist – good work. I noticed that, later in the song, you started to put more feeling and dynamic into it. I want you to think of adding this energy right from the beginning – this will draw your listeners into your music from the moment you begin your performance. What you might consider is exploring a variety of vocal effects and tones (like a breathy tone or adding twang) to vocally express the song further.
Simone Niles is a leading vocal and performance coach and an author on the specialty of performance enhancement. She has a busy private teaching practice in London and also teaches at The Institute of Contemporary Music, where she is MD of the college’s vocal ensemble. Her book “Coaching for Performance Excellence”, gives artists new and innovative ways to achieve performance excellence and is available from her website.
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This article has been especially adapted for VoiceCouncil Magazine from Simone’s book, “Coaching For Performance Excellence”. www.coachingartistry.com