woman singing

Stage Banter: What To Say On Stage Between Songs

A great way to show your personality on stage is to build audience engagement through interaction. But it can be especially difficult for singers who aren’t comfortable with public speaking. By just performing through a set without interacting with your audience you could either tire them out, bore them or both!. 

So there are a few things that you can talk about between songs while you’re on stage. You can talk about interesting experiences that you’ve recently had. You can also introduce your song and a unique story about your writing process. Converse with your audience and ask them how they are at the moment. Try pointing out something interesting that you see in the audience. If you’re touring and singing in a new city, mention how awesome their town is and your time spent there. 

Whatever you decide to talk about with your audience, make sure you’re prepared. The worst thing to see on stage is an unprepared performer mumbling their way through their set. Continue reading to find out what else you can talk about during your set and how to prepare properly so you can feel more confident next time you talk on stage. 

man singing onstage

Make a great introduction

Early on in your set you’ll have to introduce yourself. Every singer needs to do it at the beginning of the set, so you’d be better off preparing an introduction ahead of time. You can do it after the first song if you’d like but it’s better not to delay your introduction too long. 

Let them know your name and what you’re all about! This is an ideal way to make a great first impression for your audience. Whether you’re the main act or not, your introduction will set the tone for the rest of your show. It’s a great way to get them intrigued and engaged in your performance right from the start.  So make sure you begin your set on the right foot by making the perfect introduction!

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Tell interesting stories 

Talking about interesting stories that you’ve had can help the audience get a deeper understanding of who you are. Being on stage can create a sense of distance between you and your audience. Telling a story of something that you did during the day can help bridge that gap and create a deeper connection with your fans. 

Fans love to hear a good story on stage. They’re out watching a show to be entertained. So they’re ready to hear anything entertaining including some of your interesting stories! 

If your story is funny, it will work extremely well. Anything humorous can help break boredom, increase engagement and relieve stress. I find that a good funny story fits right in after a bunch of sad songs. It helps break the tension and lift the emotions of the audience back up. 

Song-related topics

If you sing a song that means a lot to you, you can talk about your relationship with the song and how it has connected with you personally. This can lead into another interesting short story that your fans would be intrigued by. 

If you’re singing your own song, you can talk about your experience creating the song and what it’s about. Talking a bit about the writing process works great too. Fans love to hear how songs take shape and what your inspirations are.

If you’re singing a cover song, you can talk a bit about the original singer and how they influenced your style. Do some quick research and mention something captivating to them. You can also add your own personal touch to it by talking about how it has affected you and why you chose the song.

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band singing in front of audience

Talking directly with your audience is a great way to engage and get them interested right away. You can start by asking a general question like “how’s everyone doing today?”. Look in the audience and see if there’s anything interesting that you see. Point that out and talk about it for a bit. 

Talking directly to someone in the audience works very well too. Look around and pick someone in the crowd to talk to. It’s important to note that directly having a conversation with a member of the audience can be somewhat risky if you’re someone who’s uncomfortable talking in front of people. It has the possibility of either going extremely well or horribly wrong. So If you decide to go that route, I recommend practicing and preparing some questions ahead of time so you can take the lead and control the conversation. 

If you’re in a foreign country, yell the country’s name. They’ll love it! If you can learn a few sentences in their language, they’ll appreciate it even more. 

Dedicate a song to someone 

Fans appreciate songs that are dedicated to someone. It could either be an entire crowd or a specific person. If there’s a difficult time that you know people are facing, you can dedicate a song to them that lifts them up. The power of your performance being able to lift people’s spirits shouldn’t be overlooked.

If you personally know someone who loves a specific song you’re singing, give them a shoutout! They’ll appreciate you for it and it will add another layer of emotion when you sing the song.

Promotion

Promoting your music is very important and what better place to do it than promoting yourself in front of a large group of people? This can help you gain instant exposure if done correctly. So promote your music and your socials while you’re on stage. You can even mention any merch that you have. 

More than likely, you’ll get a number of new followers and they’ll already be interested in your music. You can also let the audience know what’s coming up for you in the future and if there are any songs that you’ll be releasing. 

Be careful with how you plug your songs and merch into your show. It should be in an organic way when you talk about it. Don’t constantly mention your Instagram or snapchat throughout your set or else it’ll feel quite spammy and turn people off.  Just simply mention it once near the beginning and once at the end.

Read Next: 21 Ways To Promote Your Music Online: The Ultimate Guide

Talk to your bandmates

If you have a band playing with you, having some playful band banter can be amusing and to the audience. Fans love to witness great, humorous interactions between band members. Make some jokes and poke fun at one another. It’ll loosen up the crowd and create a bit of a chuckle. Fans see the camaraderie and friendship between each other and it adds a friendly atmosphere to the show.  

If you find something that works on stage and gets a good laugh, keep it in your head! It can be a regular bit that you do with your band. 

If you’re not good at band banter and still want to do something, you can prepare ahead of time with your bandmates. Just a simple conversation with one of your band mates while you’re onstage can work great too. But make sure it comes across as natural. Fans can tell if things are staged. So prep something first with your bandmates and try it out first before deciding to use it before the show. 

Thank all the workers there. 

One of the last things you should do before you finish your show is your “thank you speech”. You should give a shout out to everyone who’s contributed to the show like your band members, venue, organizer,  sound crew, lighting, etc. They worked just as hard so they deserve a shout out as well!

If you’re singing at a lounge or a bar, you can also thank the bartenders. Encouraging the audience to get a few more drinks will be well appreciated by the crew behind the bar! 

Tips to prepare your stage banter 

Now you have an idea of what you should talk about on stage, it’s time to learn how to prepare it so you can use it for your next show. Here’s how you can prepare your on-stage banter. 

1. Prepare yourself with notes or cue cards

Talking on stage should be prepared before every show. Every venue and audience will be different so always have something ready to talk about before you perform. Write out the things you can say on a few cue cards and practice it whenever you go. 

man pointing microphone

2. Be positive with self thoughts

Don’t place too much pressure on yourself while speaking onstage. Be positive with your self thoughts because if you’re too hard on yourself, everything can go downhill really fast. If you say the wrong thing or stutter, just quickly finish what you’re saying and start your song. Quickly forget about it and focus on nailing your next song. 

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3. Keep it short

Remember that the audience came to see you sing – not to listen to your speech. So make sure what you say on stage is short and to the point. Easy, right? Long winded speeches can lose your audience so fast. So no need for a 10 min background story of your writing process. 

4. Be Yourself

Speaking in front of a large crowd is hard enough as it is. Trying to be someone else is even harder. People are there for you, so simply – be authentic! Speak as you usually would. Don’t try to talk like or be someone that you’re not. Fans love authenticity. 

Final thoughts

Deciding on what to say on stage between songs can seem like a daunting task. So make sure that you’ve prepared and know what to say beforehand. Have a few anecdotes thought out of ahead of time and practice in front of a mirror. You can try out your material in front of your family and friends. The more you go through the things you say, the more it’ll become second nature for you.

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