You’re about to walk into a public spotlight. How to present a glowing, winning persona and performance? Communicate confidence based on your solid preparation and ability…
Whether your platform is words or music
It’s music competition season and my students compete this weekend. My lesson tips are refreshed from recent adjudicating at Mt Isa Eisteddfod, west of my birthplace. The train passed our sheep property, but never carried me west to Mt Isa.
My recent memoir Midnight Sun to Southern Cross describes my outback childhood and steps on my journey to become a Classical musician and educator. Of my culture shock when plunged into city schools after correspondence lessons in remote Queensland and transition from shy outback child into one who now enjoys communicating.
Read on for Tips to Shine.
But first, sound a gong!
I’m thrilled that Burn My Letters is shortlisted for the CALEB 2017 Nonfiction competition. It’s the first book of my saga.
Winners will be announced at the Omega Writers Conference in Sydney 29 October.
Preparation: Remote control and sound test before if possible
What an experience to adjudicate recorder players via webinar at the Mt Isa School of the Air. How impressive that teachers instruct with no visual cues or demonstration so remote youngsters can learn music and compete.
Rural Internet is too poor for Skype so judging was on pure sound, no visuals. Young recorder competitors blew too close to the mic so I jumped in my chair at their initial raw sounds.
Performance Tips for Backstage
• Hand on forehead and slow deep breaths calms excess adrenaline.
• Buzz lips to prevent tension squeaks (clarinet and saxophone).
• Stand against a wall for upright posture.
Make a positive first impression
- Walk on with upright posture that says ‘I am the greatest!’ Smile or exude gravitas.
- Take a moment to poise before beginning. Breathe.
Tips to stand out from the crowd
When many deserve places the adjudicator prays for someone to shine. Colour your performance/presentation with wide range of dynamics/tonal colour. Just as actors exaggerate their vocal tone, facials and body language, so winning musicians exaggerate and contrast dynamics.
In my own coming presentations…
Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival director Wendy O’Hanlon launches Midnight Sun at 10.15 on 13 August at Coolum.
I’ll share tips on Writing Memoir and Historical Biography Saturday 12 August 11.30.
Includes live music:
- Sibelius’ Swan of Tuonela played by Emily Salonen (cor anglais) with Peter Crane (piano).
- I’ll play a Menuetto by Finnish composer Bernhard Crusell on clarinet.
- Finnish music from my grandfather’s home village played by string quartet.
I’ll remind myself that:
A mistake, glitch, or fluffed note is not doom. (I tell my clarinet students ‘If you squeak, make it a good one!’)
Think ‘Even though I stuff up I love and appreciate and respect myself!’
Communicate with listeners! Eye contact that interview panel or conference audience.
Play or speak musically with beautiful tone, and above all…