This is one of the biggest factors in making sure your performance is as successful as possible! It can make or break how your performance is judged. Try not to go with a song that has a high chance of someone else also choosing it. Know your strengths and range within your voice. Do you have an awesome low range? Show it off! Choose a song in which you are comfortable with hitting all of the notes. If it is not happening at practice, it most likely will not come out on stage (especially when the nerves kick in!). Choose a song that has a message that personally relates to you. It will show in your performance! Do not just choose a popular worship song. Choose something that let’s you minister AND show off your vocal ability at the same time. After all… That’s what you’re being judged on!
Watching yourself in the mirror and videoing yourself will help you attain a good stage presence (which is a section that you are judged on!). I never realized until I watched a video of myself years back that I would pass the microphone back and forth between my hands excessively. This could definitely be distracting! You want to make sure that none of your movements (that you may not even realize you’re doing) are going to distract the audience from the message you want them to receive.
Any opportunity that you have to be on stage, do it! This will help you get more comfortable with being up there. The more you do it, the more natural it feels. I am positive that if you were to ask the leaders in your church to be more a part of the music ministry, they would love it! Even being a part of the choir is being on stage, and makes you aware of how you are presenting yourself to the audience without having to be by yourself.
In order to make sure you sing with the best tone quality, pitch, and diction, WARM UP YOUR VOICE! This will prevent straining, cracking, and damaging your vocal chords. You can do this with simple lip trills (buzzing your lips), starting low and going up, and then repeat. This is an easy warm-up that really gets your vocal chords going. You can also do 5 note scales (pentascales) going up and back down on different sounds like “bee-ya.” A warm-up to get your lips ready to say all of the words is saying the words “Me May Me My Me Mo Me Moo.” Do this 3 times in a row. Just make sure you warm up your voice around 15 minutes before you perform.
Engage the Audience
Okay, so now you have picked a great song for YOU, watched videos of yourself, gotten more comfortable being on stage, and warmed your voice up. Say a prayer, it’s time to roll! During your performance, engage the audience with your eyes, facial, and body language. You want to minister to them, so really get their attention. Let it show that your song has a message that you want to share! Let God be lifted up in your performance. The audience will sense your sincerity.
In all of this, let God be the center and He will help you be successful. That may not always be winning, but it does mean that He will be glorified in it!