Perspective Shifts & Your Audience

So many people think that how they feel about an audience will never change, that they just have to control their reaction.

THIS ISN’T TRUE!

You can feel comfortable and confident in front of any audience, it just takes shifting your perspective. Don’t get me wrong, to get to a stage where you becomes your go to place to be when performing can take some work changing beliefs that you hold, and assumptions you are making, but even some simple and easy to implement perspective shifts can make a massive difference….

Being comfortable and confident in front of any audience

When I’m asked what I do, this is what I say. I say “I help people feel comfortable and confident in front of any audience”.

What does that mean and how the heck does that work?

Most performers have at least one audience that challenges them and makes them feel really vulnerable. For some it’s all audiences that scare them.

When you feel that way it can feel unchangeable, like this is just the way you are and it’s not going to change, you just have to get on with it.

This isn’t true. You don’t have to feel this way.

I bet you find it hard to believe that, or you think the solution is to face down your fears and then by some miracle they will disappear. You might even think that your fears are important and valuable, and you need to hold on to them in order to do your best.

In all honesty, most people don’t believe there is a different way until they implement the process I teach. They think they will always find them daunting, it’s just a question of controlling their reaction, feeling the fear and doing it anyway. They talk about facing their fears, controlling their nerves, managing their anxiety.

Or they think they have to get better at what they do and then the nerves will just disappear.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for you working to improve what you do, and this will help your confidence but there is another, faster way to improve your confidence that will also improve your skill. Plus if underneath it all there is some imposter syndrome and a fear that you are not good enough, no amount of skill will get rid of that feeling.

PERSPECTIVE SHIFTS

Your reality as a performer is almost all about perspective and the assumptions you make about who you are, what you are doing and what you think about your audience. The beautiful thing about perspectives and assumptions is that you have the ability to change them.

Let’s take one assumption that is commonly made, that your audience is there to judge you and won’t be nice. Is this true?

It’s true that your audience will judge you, but that isn’t the reason they are there (even if they are an adjudication panel – I know!) Whilst judgment is a natural and automatic thing we do as humans, and it might help your audience do their job, it isn’t the reason they are there.

The first step is to think about your audience, and to think about them in a way you never have before……as people. The biggest mistake performers tend to make when they think about the audience is that they think about them through the lens of their own self-judgment.

They think about the bits of their performance they are most worried about, and how the audience will judge (and damn) them if they don’t get it right. They think about how they would judge themselves if they were the audience…..which is usually really harshly.

However, the audience has their own agenda. They are there because they want to be, have to be, or feel they should be. This will affect how they feel.

They maybe there for pleasure, or maybe they have a job to do, something they want or feel they have to get from the performance.

How can you help them achieve their goal, or make the process more pleasurable?

Here’s a question you may not ever have asked yourself, do they feel capable of achieving what they want to achieve?

People often assume that the people they are performing or presenting to are confident and don’t doubt themselves, but they may have concerns about being judged too. Maybe they won’t do a good job, pick the right person, get the information they need, have a good time when they’ve paid money to be there.

Another thing to think about is what sort of day they have had. Has it been a good day, a bad day, a day full of conflict or one full of excitement and joy? Is it raining outside or sunny, how does that make them feel?

Most importantly of all, what would make their day? If they could get anything from your performance/presentation, what would it be?

As you think about this, what is coming into your head? Can you start to see how thinking about your audience this way will do two things:

  1. It will help you give your audience what they want; and
  2. It distracts you from worrying about what they think of you and how they will judge you.

When you are focusing on what your audience wants means you can’t listen to the voice in your head that thinks you aren’t good enough, and means you can relax into communicating and connecting.

There isn’t a single performance that can’t be improved with connection

And one fundamental truth about performing, whether it is singing, acting, speaking or any other form of communication, it is always more effective when you can create more connection.

Next time I will be talking about a different simple perspective shift that will help you connect with your audience more confidently and effectively.

In the mean time, if you are looking for some simple perspective shifts that will show you how to shift gears in how you perform, my Free Your Voice Mini-Course is the course for you. It teaches you a process I have taught to thousands that truly transforms how you approach performing so that you can start to feel really comfortable in front of any audience.

Much love

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