How do you look on stage? Is your body language helping or hindering people from worship? We communicate much more with our bodies than we do our words. That’s why as worship leaders and worship team members we must care about improving our stage presence! In this episode (Episode 5) we tackle 8 tricks to help you improve your stage presence, so you can lead your church more effectively! Enjoy and pass it along to someone else!
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How we hold ourselves on stage can either help or hinder people in worship. -Tweet That
Use your body as a tool to lead people, rather than a distraction to dissuade people. -Tweet That
We help the congregation engage passionately when we show them how. -Tweet That
Only 7% of our communication is conveyed through our words, the rest is nonverbal. -Tweet That
As worship leaders we must care about our stage presence. We must learn to use our bodies in a way that helps people connect with Jesus!
The difficult balance is being the leader of the room without being the center of attention. -Tweet That
Alex Enfiedjian 00:11 Hello,
Alex Enfiedjian 00:12 and welcome back to the worship team podcast. My name is Alex Enfiedjian. And I’m your host. so thankful that you’re here with us today tuning in listening, checking us out. If it’s your first time, welcome, if you’re coming back, thanks for being awesome and coming back. Thanks to all of you who have left a review and rating on iTunes, that helps us so much. And thanks to those of you who have followed us on Twitter, we are happy to connect with you that way. I just wanted to say to my listeners, I am committed to bringing you great content that is to the point. And helpful. I don’t want to be one of those guys that just rambles on or kind of brings people on for interviews that ask what was your favorite dog, you know, growing up, I want to be to the point helpful, and hopefully only give you the sweet stuff that helps you grow in your ministry to be the best you can possibly be. So with that enough of me rambling, which I said I wouldn’t do. And let’s jump straight into the content. Today is episode five of the podcast. And we’re going to be talking about eight tricks to improve your stage presence, eight tricks to improve your stage presence. And this is really for anyone who’s on the stage, whether you’re the worship leader, or you’re a drummer, or you’re just I don’t know, someone on the stage. This is for you how to improve your stage presence. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, that is your body. And in Romans 12 two, it says that we should offer our bodies as living sacrifices, which is our spiritual act of worship. So today is really all about how we can use our bodies as tools to worship God. And as tools to lead others in worship. Did you know that your words only contribute to 7% of your communication 7%. The rest is all body language, vocal inflection facial expression, posture. But really, your words are very weak. If they’re not accompanied by the proper body language, body language speaks much louder than our mouths do. And that’s why as worship leaders and when I say worship leader, I mean anyone on the stage drummers, bass players, piano players background vocalist, you’re a worship leader because you’re on the stage leading people in worship. That’s why for us as worship leaders, it matters. That we care about our stage presence, we have to learn to use our bodies in a way that helps people connect with Jesus, our stage presence can be a hindrance, or help to people’s worship. And I don’t know about you, but I want to help people worship Jesus and I don’t want my body and the way that I’m standing or the way that my face looks to get in the way of people connecting with God. So with that in mind, I just want to share eight simple tips that will hopefully improve your stage presence. There are seven do’s and one don’t. So eight tips to help improve your stage presence. Number one, be aware. So this basically just means be aware of what is going on with your body. Be aware of your posture, be aware of your hands, be aware of your facial expressions, be aware of any weird quirks or idiosyncrasies that you’re doing, just tune into what your body is doing when you’re standing on the stage. I think a lot of times we don’t even know that we’re doing something goofy with our hands or that our face looks like we are, you know, at a funeral, or I don’t know that we’re rocking back and forth in a weird way. It’s really important that you start to tune in and think about what am I doing with my body right now? What is my facial expression conveying? When I sing joyful, joyful? We adore it? Do I look like I you know, am at a funeral? Or do I look joyful? So start to tune into your body start to be aware of what your body is doing. Because again, our body language conveys way more than the words that we say or sing. So one one thing I want to say that might be helpful to you in regards to your facial expression is just smile. I started smiling a couple years ago as I was leading worship, and it just, it kind of lights up the room. In fact, our pastor said that he loves it when a certain drummer is playing on the team, because that drummer smiles when he plays and it just lights up the stage that those are his words, lights up stage. And really like there’s something so welcoming and inviting about a smile. So if you have a visitor coming to your church, and they see the people on the stage are, are smiling, they’re glad to be there, it loosens them up, they feel like wow, this is a nice place to be. I’m welcomed here, I’m invited to sing with them. But if we’re kind of all pouty and you know, intense, then they might feel like what’s going on with those people up there. So, so simple tip smile. That’s like a $10 tip right
Alex Enfiedjian 06:00 there. And another tip that might help with your facial expressions is sing even if you’re not a singer, even if you’re not the lead singer. Like if you’re a background vocalist, and you’re waiting for your part to the chorus to bring your harmony in, I would encourage you to sing on the the verse to just put your mic down by your side and sing off mic because if you’re singing, then you’re not just standing there looking like bored or like a zombie. But you’re engaged in the whole service. I mean, unless your worship leader tells you specifically don’t sing off mic, I don’t want anyone singing during this part. But I would encourage background vocalist to sing off mic on the parts that, that they’re not on mic so that they’re engaged, that their face is moving, that their hearts are engaging and you know, connecting with the Lord, even in the parts where they’re not necessarily singing their harmony. But I would move it beyond just background vocalists and say that everyone on the stage should sing. Like bass players, drummers guitarists sing, even if you don’t have a mic, just sing. Because it’ll help you to be engaged in the worship. And when you’re engaged on the platform, the congregation will be engaged as well. It’ll really help them to see that we’re all there that morning to sing to Jesus together. So bass players sing as you’re able drummers seeing as you’re able, just be engaged. And while you’re singing, that’s going to help your facial expressions to not kind of zone out or, you know, tilt your head to the side and just kind of blank stare off into nowhere Ville. So be aware, guys, be aware of your facial expressions, your body language, what is it conveying? Is it lining up with the lyrics that you’re singing? Is it conveying the feelings that are in your heart, just be aware, turn your focus on what your body is doing when you’re on the platform. So be aware is the first tip, the second trick to improving your stage presence is to be confident, be confident. Don’t be nervous, okay? If you’re nervous, the congregation will be nervous for you. And that’s just a huge barrier. Really Be confident to stand on that stage. And lead. If you look nervous, they will be nervous for you. It’s obvious to everyone in the room. And one way to get around being nervous is I mean, one way to be more confident is to be prepared. So for example, know your music, do not bury your head in your music stand. I know p members from other churches. And I know when I first came, a lot of team members were buried in their music stand. They were you know, just what’s the next note on the page, what’s the next word and I really encourage my team and they’ve done a great job growing in this to get out of their music stand to lift their eyes up, lift their head up with their shoulders up, look out over the congregation Don’t be buried in the music, sand and fumbling through your notes. So what that means is they needed to put more time in
Alex Enfiedjian 09:35 preparing so that they actually knew their music knew their songs. And I would say have as much of your music memorized as possible. I think it was about two years ago that I started memorizing all of the songs that we were going to sing on Sunday so that I could get rid of the music stand that was actually acting as a physical barrier between Me and the congregation. So I got rid of that. And it was like, Wow, now I’m not looking at it. Now I’m not thinking about it. Now I can just sing to God and lead these people. And they’re, we’re more connected, because I’m not buried in my music stand. So I would say, as much as possible musicians and leaders, memorize your music, and some people would say, Well, I can’t do that, I guarantee you can do that. One, if you believe that you can. And two, if you just put in a little bit of time to start memorizing, and working on memorizing your music, I guarantee you can do it, you can do it. And the funny thing is, once you start doing it, it almost it gets easier and easier and easier. And pretty soon, you’re almost anticipating what chord is coming up before. before it’s even there, you just kind of intuitively know what chord to play. Next, you can do it. So memorize your music, guys, it’ll help you to have better stage presence, because then you can be up, you can be looking out, you can be engaged in the song, instead of thinking about what’s the next chord that I’m supposed to play. So be prepared, that will help you to be confident. And if you’re a leader, I would also say that if you’re going to speak in between songs, be prepared in that as well know what you’re going to say, before you get on the stage. So write it out if you need to. But rehearse it a few times, so that you’re not nervous when you start to speak in between songs. So be aware, be confident, which means you need to be prepared. And then be yourself be authentic, because people can sniff out in authenticity. in a heartbeat. I mean, it’s so easy to tell when someone is not truly meaning what they’re singing, when they’re not true, truly worshipping God, but they’re just kind of putting their hands up because they’re on the stage. And their worship leader said to have better stage presence, right? I mean, that’s what we’re talking about. But at the same time, like be authentic, be real. I mean, if you want to cry cry, if you want to shout for joy, shout for joy, be authentic. and be yourself like, the other thing is not everybody is like super outgoing jump up and down, you know, spin in circles as they lead worship, like, if you’re a more mellow person, it’s okay to be mellow. And, and use your body. But still, you know, use your body and strive to use your body. But just do it in a way that represents you and do it in a way that looks like you and that is that is authentic and true to who you are. Be yourself kind of find your own stage presence style, so to speak. Because you know, we all try to find our own voice or we try to find our own style of guitar playing. Well do the same thing for your stage presence, find your own stage presence style, be yourself. So the next tip or trick to improve your stage presence is to be an example. Be an example. So the truth of the matter is our congregations are a reflection of their leaders us. And so if we are bored, or unengaged or unpassed minute, on the stage, they’re going to be also why should we expect that they’re going to be crying out and lifting up their hands and worshiping the Lord with passion? If we’re not doing it, they’re just reflecting what they’re seeing us do. So, we help the congregation engage when we show them how. So you as a leader, you as a band member, you lift your hands, you close your eyes and sing out with passion. You You know fall to your knees and you know ask for forgiveness. Like if you want them to do those things. Show them how be an example we spur them on with our bodies. So raise your hands guys sing with passion, close your eyes, to worship on the parts where where it’s appropriate for you to close your eyes. And you see this in some of the big big churches like I mean, obviously everybody knows Hillsong but when you watch their videos, like the whole congregation is just like, you know, all in passionately pouring out their heart. before the Lord. And it’s because if you look at the people on the stage they are. They’re showing them how they’re being an example. They’re leading them in how to worship the God of the universe with their bodies. They’re using their bodies as a tool to lead people, rather than a distraction to dissuade people. And if you watch those videos of those bigger bands, it’s true of not just the leaders, but every single musician on the stage, they are all using their bodies, to worship God, but also to be an example to the people in the congregation. And that’s why those congregations are just as passionate as they are, because their leaders are passionate, and are and are exemplifying the biblical commands to worship God with our bodies. And that leads us to the next trick, which is to be obedient to the scriptures. Because I said it in this last point before, that the Hillsong people are helping these people see what it looks like to be obedient to God in raising their hands in lifting their voice in shouting for joy in dancing before the Lord, they are being obedient. As worship leaders as worship team members, they’re being obedient to the commands of Scripture, because what the stuff that I’m talking about today is not something that you know, churches made up contemporary churches made up to make their you know, music time more fun and expressive. these are these are actual commands, right? Lift your hands, clap your hands, dance, shout for joy. Rejoice. And and you know a lot of the worship teams across America we’ve we’ve got the Sing to the Lord command down, we do that. But that’s about the extent of our obedience. We don’t do the raise your hands, clap your hands. Dance for joy. shout for joy. Shout aloud. Shout before the Lord When’s the last time you did that?
Alex Enfiedjian 17:22 All right.
Alex Enfiedjian 17:22 Timeout. Stop listening to this podcast right now, wherever you are, and just shout for joy to the Lord. I actually did that with my team. We were reading in Psalm. I don’t remember what song was 60 something? Probably 6869 70. And it said, shout for joy to the Lord. And I said, Alright, guys, let’s stop and shout for joy to be obedient to this scripture. And sometimes as a leader, like I, man, was it uncomfortable for me to shout for joy a little bit right there. Yeah, it was kind of awkward. It was like, I was like, is my team gonna follow me? Are they gonna do this with me? They did. But I had to take that step of like, oh, man, I wouldn’t do this normally. But Scripture says to shout for joy. So I’m going to shout for joy. And then, you know, even on Sunday mornings, like sometimes I wouldn’t, you know, raise my hands all the time. Obviously, I’m playing the guitar most the time. But I’m not always the kind of guy who like immediately his hands shoot up, you know, in worship. But because I’m on the stage, and because I want to be obedient to Scripture. Oftentimes, I will raise my hands. And that obedience is also teaching the congregation by example, how to be obedient in worship with our bodies. So be obedient to Scripture. The next point is to be engaged, be engaged, when you’re on the stage. Be aware of the room, open your eyes, enjoy the church worshiping, enjoy the Lord, enjoy the music, how cool we get to make music for God, enjoy your instrument, just like be into it. If you’re into it, the church will be into it. So enjoy, look out at the people and and I would encourage you when you’re on stage to not close your eyes too much. Don’t get off in your own little bubble and not worry about the people that you’re leading because you are leading them. So open your eyes, engage with them, look out at the room and smile and you know, just be there be present be in the moment enjoying the worship going up to our good father. When I look out at the room and I’m looking left I’m looking right I’m looking up at the we have three balconies here. I’m looking at the different balconies, I always see pockets of people who are just pouring out their hearts to God. And you know what it does for me is it’s spurs me on to worship God, I’m like, oh god, I want to worship you like they are, even though I’m the worship leader, when I’m engaged in the room with the room, when I’m engaged with the Lord, seeing them worship actually helps me to worship God more in that moment. So open your eyes and be engaged in the room. And then the last do before we get to the one, don’t, the last do is to be in control. be in control, use your body to leave the room. So don’t just like, close your eyes and check out and go off into your own little worship leader bubble, where it’s you and the Lord. Now you’re the leader. So, so lead be in control of the room, use your body, the body that God gave you to cue the congregation to lead the congregation. So what do I mean by that? A couple examples. One is like, when you’re about to start singing a new line, a verse or whatever, take a step, and lean into the mic. So they know, okay, it’s coming, we’re about to sing, use your body to lead them. The opposite is true, too. If you’re about to, like, you know, you just finished singing, or, you know, the chorus is over, and there’s like an instrumental take a step back from the mic so that they know, okay, there’s a breath, I don’t need to like wonder when we’re gonna start singing the next line, you’re, you’re actually leading the room with your posture with your body. Sometimes I even, like actually take a bigger breath before I start singing. So for example, like, Oh, you know, we’re playing music, and then I’ll come up to the mic, I’ll step into it, and then I’ll go, and then I’ll sing. And that is, that is a cue that I’m giving them to know, okay, he’s leading us into the next part of the song.
Alex Enfiedjian 22:09 So, you know, use your body to lead the room. And this is also true about when other people are leading on the stage. Like, for example, if I lead a song, and then someone else, like, my piano player is going to lead a song, I’ll step back from the mic. And I’ll kind of look in her direction, so that the church knows someone else is leading this song, so that, that they’re not hearing this voice of a woman, you know, come out of the speaker, but I’m still standing right up next to my microphone, and they’re wondering what’s going on, who’s whose voice Am I hearing, because that causes confusion, that’s a distraction. And then, you know, they’re kind of out of the moment of worship. So use your body to even point to who’s in control of the stage at that moment. And that goes for when people are giving announcements, you know, put your doodle on your instrument, put your hands down by your side or out in front of you, you know, in a comfortable position and look at the person giving the announcement and smile and, you know, engage with what they’re saying, laugh when appropriate nod when appropriate, you know, just use your body to give cues to the room, what’s going on. And, you know, one thing just to say about using our bodies, is we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves. And there’s this difficult balance between being the leader of the room without being the center of attention, and you just kind of have to learn how to do that. And I believe in you, listener that you can do this and you can do it well. So those are the seven do’s. Be aware, be confident, be yourself, be an example. Be obedient to Scripture, be engaged and be in control. And then there’s one Don’t, don’t do this, don’t be a distraction. Okay? Obviously, right. Worship, leading is the art of removing distractions. So, don’t wear clothing that is going to be a distraction. You know, like if don’t wear like a sports shirt that you know everybody’s in the room as a rival towards or don’t wear you know, too short of a skirt or to you know, deep of a neckline or anything that would you know, hug your body too tight, right? Like, even your dress can help or hinder people worship. So, make sure your clothing is appropriate to your context. Make sure that your movements are appropriate to your context, like if you’re in a church where it’s more of a, you know, traditional Less exuberant. CONGREGATION, you don’t want to like just start by jumping up and down, rocking out to the latest like dance pop worship song that, you know is always on the radio. So be aware of your context, don’t do things that are going to be a distraction. So I hope that you can kind of figure out what would be distracting to people. But that’s the one Don’t, don’t be a distraction on the stage.
Alex Enfiedjian 25:35 I want you worship leader friend, to succeed, and to grow in your craft. And I hope that these eight tricks to improve your stage presence actually can be applied in your situation this Sunday. But remember, that you on the stage have been called to use your body as a tool to worship God and as a tool to lead your church in worship. That’s it straight to the point, short, hopefully, and helpful. And if it was helpful, please leave a rating on iTunes. That really helps me and please forward this episode to someone who you think it might help. And lastly, if you have any of your own thoughts about how to improve your stage presence, come to my website, Alexon music.com al XON music calm and leave a comment on this episode. And let me know you know what, what are some things that have helped with your team and with your stage presence. So friend, God bless you enjoy the rest of your week and I pray that you have an amazing Sunday, full of passionate, powerful worship of Jesus. Until next time,
Alex Enfiedjian 27:01 God bless goodbye.