Robert Estrin - piano expert

Tips for Improving Stage Presence - Talk to Your Audience

An important tip to gain more appreciation from your audience.

In this last video of a 5-part series about improving your stage presence, Robert tells you how to spur more interest, attention, and relaxation from your audience before, during, and after a live performance.

Released on September 3, 2014

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, and welcome to and I'm Robert Estrin with the final, last tip for your stage presence, how to improve your stage presence. We've covered quite a bit here. Of course, not to feel rushed, so your audience can get settled in. Making eye contact with your audience is very important. You feel that connection.

Never show your mistakes. As much as you might want to indicate to some of the skint musicians that you know something didn't go to your liking, you're doing a disservice to the vast majority of your audience, who are there to enjoy themselves, not to feel uncomfortable for you. And of course, taking time between your bows. That was also important, so you have a chance to thank your audience, and they can enjoy seeing you thanking them and feel the connection, once again, with that visual.

What else could there possibly be? Well, this is one that you might not expect, and I want you to try it no matter what kind of musician you are, particularly if you're a classical musician, where it's not generally done, which is, don't be afraid to talk to your audience. That's right! Now where did I learn this? Growing up, my father Martin Estrin performed in all the finest concert halls in New York, at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Washington DC, St. Louis, all around the country, in Europe. One of his trademarks was that he would almost always, at some point in the program, certainly in the encore section, talk to the audience.

My gosh, the connection that makes, the beauty of making it more informal and getting to know the performer, is such an enriching experience, certainly if you're playing restaurants, or any kind of situation where there is a more of a relaxed, informal club-type setting. It's imperative that you make the connection by talking. Not talking too much, mind you. It's got to be mostly about the music. But when you talk to the audience and you share in a genuine way, it's thrilling for them, particularly in a classical concert. I challenge you to try this in one of your performances. Speak up with your stage voice support, so they can hear you in the last row, and they'll be thrilled.

If you're not comfortable doing this, at least try it if you're playing in the encores. Announce your encore pieces, and announce them so everyone can hear. They'll be happy to know what it is you're playing. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to concerts and the artist never tells you, never talks at all. They play encores, and maybe they mumble something, but you don't really hear it. Or they don't say anything at all, so everyone in the audience is whispering to each other, "Is that Debussy? What?" Everyone's kind of frustrated with it. Communication! That's what music is. There's nothing wrong with talking a little bit in any concert, even a classical concert.

I hope these five tips have been helpful for you. If you missed any, go back and check them out. Thanks for joining me, Robert Estrin, here at and
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Elizabeth * VSM MEMBER * on December 21, 2014 @8:49 am PST
Terrific ideas for better performance. I am encouragin my students to watch these short videos. Thank you.
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