The Best Motivator for Performers

We know the negative impact of fear on our performances yet we still pick up the stick of fear thinking that it will help to motivate us, to stop us getting complacent. There is a better motivator and this is what I talk about in this episode......

Podcast 26 Title

The Courageous Performer Podcast

The Best Motivator for Performers

In the podcast I talk about a workshop I'm running on 24th August 2023. If you would like to own the stage and regain the joy of performing without fear click the link below....

If you would like to learn how to let go and perform brilliantly, so that you can feel confident (even without being able to guarantee the outcome!) then go to to find out how to work with me.

Read the episode transcript here:


Hi, I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice and what I want to talk to you about today is the sort of irony of the fact that most of the performers I talked to perform because they love it, or they know they will love it at some point, or they used to love it as a child and they want to get back to loving it. And they are seeking to be better performers, so they can end up loving the performing. The ironical bit (and I'm never very good with irony, so if I've got the wrong use of irony, somebody tell me, somebody explain it to me, because I'm really bad with that) is that in order to be a better performer, most of us have to have more fun, most of us have to enjoy it, we don't have to, but it would help us to enjoy it more for those of you that know me and SMOG words, and if you don't know SMOG words, look up one of my blogs on it, or I don't know if I've done a podcast on it yet, maybe it's time for me to do a podcast on SMOG words.



So 'have to', you don't have to do anything, but if you want to be a really great performer, the biggest factor for me is enjoyment, because the more you enjoy it, the more you relax, the more you relax, the better your technique, the more you relax, the more you connect with the audience, the more you relax, the more you enjoy it, and it becomes a positive circle.



So we've got into this cycle of being working really hard to get good at it so that we can enjoy it. And yet, if we enjoyed it, we would get better at it. So we're really going at it, if you excuse the terminology, arse about face. The wrong way round.



And so often when I'm working with somebody one to one or in a group, if I can get them to enjoy what they are performing more, it transforms the way they are performing. Not only because it distracts them from what they're performing, and sorry, from their worries about what they're performing, and how well or badly they're performing; but it releases everything. And you relax, because that is the state of joy. We are more relaxed when we're feeling joyful. We have the natural adrenaline.



And it goes in the same argument of a you know why.... recently I was talking about don't use fear as a motivator. People use fear as a motivator because they think the adrenaline is good. But joy brings adrenaline with it too. And you can get that lovely kick of adrenaline by being joyful and excited about something. And that tightens your, uh I don't know if it tightens your blood vessels, but it gives you that kick of adrenaline. Yeah, because adrenaline tightens your blood vessels here in me not knowing my physiology. So it it gives you that wonderful sensation. It's not as vasoconstrictive I know as negative stress. But it gives you that kick, it gets your blood pumping, it means the your blood is more oxygenated. And you get that wonderful sense and energy about it.



The other thing joy does when I ask people to be joyful, I don't go "Be joyful about it." I point out things about their performance that they can feel joyful about. So if I'm working with a singer, it'll be look, let's look at the lyrics, let's look at the music. What can we dig into with this? And that's why I love working with the accompanist Nigel Foster because there isn't a piece I've not seen him get excited about. He has his wonderful way of you know, bringing this real interest and making every song sort of juicy and enjoyable.



But if you're a public speaker, the same can be true. You can lean into what you want to give your audience and what your audience might want to take away. And that wonderful sense of abundance and giving that brings with it joy. And it's also way more effective, it means you're way more effective at getting your message across. So one, joy is really really good at relaxing you and getting you into a right the right physiological state for performing. It distracts you from the negativity and two, it helps you connect with your audience because if you are looking at things to be joyful about your looking at expressing that.



So if we're looking at the lyrics, you're going to express and communicate those lyrics so much better. If you're looking at the music, you can be embodying that music so much better, and then your audience is going to get so much more. If you're looking at giving your audience more, and you're giving them what they want and sharing with them, then they're going to get so much more and so are you because if you give them stuff, there'll be more interested in their listen better, and they'll take more away. So they'll take what you want them to take away, away.



And so you've got all of these things that you get from this sense of joy, which the sense of dread gives you the exact opposite, it makes you small, it makes you tight, it makes you tense, it makes you withdraw. It stops you thinking about the lyrics and the music or the words or your message, it does the exact opposite of joy. And yet, that is the tool we pick up and use way more often than joy. So what I'd love for you to get from this mini podcast is this idea of "How do I enjoy my performance more? Because more joy will make me a better performer and a better communicator, and allow me to be more relaxed," and your audience will find it much easier to be around you if you're more relaxed.



So think about what how you can bring more abundance, more enjoyment more joy, to what you are performing and how you are performing it. And then lean into that as not only you perform, but also you practice. Practice that into your performance, practice the joy into it, enjoy the practice, think how you can do all of these things within the practice and bring joy to the practice because then you will embed those neural pathways and associate joy with that performance because you will have practised. It isn't just as you practice the right notes, the right words, remembering what you're trying to say, you can practice all of this in.



Now if you'd like a bit more about how to get joy into your performance, I have a workshop coming up next Friday. I'll put the link against the podcast, it's at So join me for a workshop next Friday, where I'll be talking about the joy of being a fearless performer and how those two concepts relate in much more depth. Thank you for listening. I'm Hattie Voelcker from Find Your True Voice.