I’m performing with a large orchestra in the famous Kurhaus in Scheveningen. It’s a packed house, I’m dressed in red and about to sing Cole Porter’s Night And Day. Nothing to worry about.
Only one little thing. What the %^&$#@ am I supposed to say in between the songs?! Am I supposed to entertain the crowd? But I’m a jazz singer! How do I do that? “Thank you, the next song is…?”
I pretend that I’m completely confident and smile as I receive the applause after my first song.
(No words come from my lips.)
I decide to smile even bigger.
(They must all notice that I’m a very likable person.)
The conductor counts in the next song.
No. Words. Come. From. My. Lips.
The last song. Applause. I take a bow and quickly leave the stage.
I think I did a great job singing my songs. In tune. On time.
But… uhm… did I connect with the audience?
I seldom felt more inadequate.
One of the reasons why I’m big into coaching on presenting is because of the suffering I’ve been through myself.
What am I saying?
Only one of the reasons?
THIS is the reason why I’m big into coaching on presenting.
To get rid of the discomfort. To inspire you to get tools for yourself. To sparkle on stage!
What could I have done?
I could have said that it’s an honor for me to sing at this beautiful venue. (That’s not very original, but hey, I’m not a stand-up comedian. At least, not yet.)
But I didn’t. Then.
And so, I suffered a major crisis. ‘See? I just proved I can’t do it’.
There I was. Full of self-doubt. Self-accusations. It’s an awful state to be in.
What happened next?
I first ran and hide. And pretended everything was fine. I tried to silence that whispering voice inside – nana nanana, you are such a failure – and then…
…the startling realization kicked in that it all starts with believing in myself. It starts with showing more of myself. Do I feel awkward hosting a dinner party for my friends? Hell, no. Do I feel terrible meeting my sister for coffee? Not likely. Do we dance around the table to Boogie Wonderland at home? Yes. Do we love it? We dooooo.
I like to check in on that feeling now, whenever I perform. I like to check in on the fun, on similarities, on the things we share, on the fact that there are real people in the room, just like me. With dreams, schemes, heart breaks, longings, love, hurt and truth.
Fear of not knowing what to say can easily be taken away when you prepare. And that’s exactly what I do nowadays. How? I’ll tell you all in my online program How To Perform.
If you show more of yourself, of your vulnerability, of your fun, of your passion – people are bound to respond. They may not all like you as much as you would want them too, but if you start giving the best you have to offer, most of them will love you for it.
Now, over 20 years and many performances later, I’d love to help YOU feel super confident on stage. That’s why I collected all my tips, knowledge and experience in my online program How To Perform. It’s part of my online Songbird.
I’d love to help you get the best out of you. So you’ll feel confident whenever you perform, be it for your cat, your granny, or before an audience of 1000.