A great way to approach the anxiety that results from performing live would be to assess your contribution to the audience members and their daily lives. Not everyone is a mainstream artist with commercial success, and many people do quite well for themselves performing for smaller audiences. In this situation, you are more than likely to be performing for a bunch of people who have no clue who you are. This is why it’s important to note that your audience is more important to you than you are to them.
– Acknowledge your audience. Your success is dependent on them. You should strive to make your audience feel important, as if you are wary of and accept their presence. This is achieved through a variety of cliche’s – smiling, making eye contact and listening to and responding to gestures. Strive for as much interaction as what’s comfortable, developing room to react to any occurrences that may be taking place in your audience.
– Your performance is only a minor part of your audience’s night out. Let’s propose that you’re performing tonight at a local pub. Your performance may be the focal point for bringing people together, but in reality they’re more interested in socializing with their friends and having a good time. Although you may be the reason that someone is in the audience, your performance probably won’t be very significant to them after it’s over. At least not as significant as it was to you. Is it still worth stressing about everything that went wrong during the show?
– Talent is a great thing (which is easily appreciated by an audience); however it’s not a requirement for being a great performer. It may be necessary to weigh up your strengths and weaknesses, and compensate more in one department for what may be lacking in another. The ability to communicate and interact with your audience can be of great value if nurtured well.
In a nutshell, find what works well in producing a positive reaction in front of an audience and repeat it.