Due to hosting the Dixie Gospel Caravan and traveling with a southern gospel group, I am able to watch a lot of artists in a lot of different places.  I see them on flat bed trailers, church stages and even on a ship.  While not every place is ideal for your best performance, there is something you need to possess to have a successful stand at your concerts.

The word seems simple yet no one works to build it up.  The word is CONFIDENCE!

Now this is the type of post where my over spiritual friends come out of the wood work to debate me on why they are doing what they are doing.  Just stop it! Many are doing it for the glory of God and everyone is doing it for the spot light.  What I just said is absolute fact or you would never make statements like…

“How can we get on bigger stages”

“What do we need to do to get booked by Bill Bailey”

“How much do I need to pay to be on Dollywood or the NQC Main stage

If you have ever had any of these thoughts, then you are wanting more then to just please God. And guess what, that is okay to admit.  Everyone wants to be their best and they want to be accepted by others.  That is the life we live in.  We have the passion inside of us to want to be the best we can be.  Many people just don’t know how to pull that out of themselves so it comes across on stage.  You have mistaken humbleness as weakness.

When I work with groups on building their confidence, we deal with everything from their on-stage presence to the product pitch.  But I am amazed at how many groups want to be on those stages listed above but they are not willing to prepare for that level of singing.  Just because you have a bus, a sound system and you had a “friend” put your song on their station chart doesn’t mean you are ready to sing in front of thousands.

Let me restate that.  Just because you have a monthly bus payment, a poorly recorded song and you had a few friends swap charting positions with you does not mean that thousands are ready to hear you.

  • Hopefully you are always working to get your harmony tighter.
  • Hopefully you are always working on improving your voice and talent.
  • Hopefully you are always working to improve your sound.

So why are you not working on building your confidence on stage?

Why are you not getting input from industry professionals on their opinion of your stage performance?  For one, they won’t be honset with you because you can’t handle the truth.  You ask for their honesty but you really can’t handle what they really want to tell you.  So you continue to do the same thing over and over and think it’s okay when your stage presence is holding you back.

You need someone in your life that when you get off stage, they look at you and say, “That Sucked”.  A person who you give full permission to critique you and your performance.  But for goodness sake, when they give you the advice, do something with it.  Quit having the attitude that these people are just trying to bring you down.  Like they are trying to hold you back or they are jealous of you.  Are you kidding me?

I can count the number of artists who have contacted me and used up my time and thoughts, without compensation I might add,  to only go and do the direct opposite.  And then when they fail, they come back as though it was my fault.  But I keep pouring into any artist who will listen because I truly want to see us all get better at what we do.

So I am about to say what you wished others would say to you.  YOUR STAGE PRESENCE IS AWFUL!

You wait until you get on stage to decide what your first three songs should be.  NOOOOO! That should be decided before they ever announce your name.  Oh wait, here come the over spiritual people again who will say, “I just follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.”

So you are telling me that our All-Knowing God doesn’t know what is going to happen in the next 20 minutes? He only speaks to you once you are on stage?  Why can’t the Holy Spirit direct you one hour before the concert begins?

When we go to church, we want our Pastors to be fully prepared, studied up and ready to deliver the word.  Yet, as artists we go on stage and just “wing it”.  We want our Pastors to be confident in what they are doing. We don’t want to sit and hear them stammer over their words, forget what they were going to say or at the least… send us into the land of boredum.  You respond to people who are confident about what they are presenting.

As a pastor myself, I spend time in God’s Word studying for what will come out of my mouth when I get on stage. I preach it to myself over and over again before I ever present it in front of people.  Does I leave out the Holy Spirit? No, in fact He adds things to the message everytime I preach.  But He adds to what I have prepared.

That is what the audience desires from you.  Those who paid money for a ticket or paid you with their time want you to arrive ready to sing.  That is the least we can do for those who are investing into our ministry.

So what does it mean to have confidence on stage? That is something I will deal with in later posts.

Let me give you a hint… quit turning your back the crowd to try and decide what you are going to do next… Quit allowing two minutes of silence from the time your name is announced.  Quit stumbling over what you are going to say. Quit complaining about everything that is wrong with the world and give us something to be excited about. Quit telling us to give “God a  hand clap of praise” after every song. That’s just a sign you don’t know that to do next.

Quit telling us how hard it is to be a gospel singer, we don’t care!  You chose to do this, we didn’t make you.

Quit… well nevermind, I will cover more later.

Oh and let me say, if you are wanting the truth about your performance, I am here. But don’t get mad when I burst your bubble.  And please don’t take advantage of my time and efforts to make you better.  Apply what you learn and strive to be better because there are a lot of people watching including the promoters and bookers for the bigger concerts.