participated in and watched many contests during my Karaoke
"career," and Ive had the opportunity to observe
hundreds of performers.
I have seen people get upset after the winner was announced.
The general opinion was that the contest was rigged and that
"so-and-so should have won." I dont always know
how the winner is selected (every contest has different rating
criteria), but keep in mind that most contest judges rate you
on categories such as onstage performance, vocal ability, and
overall presentation. Other contests are based solely on the
audiences reaction to the song. In either case, Im
going to be talking about how to get the best audience reaction-which
can be applied to not only for contests, but also for Karaoke
are three categories of appeal that every audience has: audio
appeal, visual appeal, and emotional appeal. All
great performers typically perform well in all of these three
areas, including politicians, entertainers, salespeople, etc.
If you can create appeal for the audience in these three areas,
you generally will put on a great performance!
Appeal: This area Im not going to get into many details,
because it encompasses a wide range of topics. In short, audio
appeal is "how well you sound." Again, I have seen
contest winners who didnt have a whole lot of audio appeal,
but they excelled in some other area. You dont always
need to have a good voice in order to get a great reaction from
the audience, as Im sure many of you have observed. On
the other hand, if you have a tremendous amount of audio appeal,
you may not need appeal in the other areas. In other words,
you can just stand there and sing, and everyone will love it!
Appeal: This area can be correlated to "onstage performance."
Basically, its how well you appear on stage. This area
encompasses many elements including your attire, body movements,
and facial expressions.
try to wear something appropriate to your song. If youre
going to sing a heavy metal song, it might look kind of weird
of youre dressed in a suit and tie
but you never
know these days! Avoid looking sad, confused, or bored. If you
look bored, it will make the audience bored. Be lively! Smile
and get eye contact with the audience. During the presentation,
you can also make various facial expressions that fit the song.
Pay attention to how you hold the microphone. You may want to
vary how you hold the mic, switching hands during the song for
example. Avoid sitting down while you sing, unless it really
matches the song. If theres a monitor in front of you,
dont hide behind it. Stand far back behind it (where you
can still read it), or to the side. These are just a few basic
tips on visual appeal. I will be discussing more in depth in
note that your visual appeal can win a contest all by itself!
For example, have you ever seen someone get up on stage and
had a great dance routine or maybe wore some type of "costume?"
They appealed to the audience visually, and their "show"
kept everyone entertained throughout the song.
Appeal: Lastly, and in my opinion probably the most important,
is emotional appeal. If you can appeal to the audience emotionally,
youre guaranteed to get a great response. Have you ever
seen someone do a "joke" song that made everyone laugh?
Or sung a classic song that hardly no one sings? One time I
won a contest with a rare 80s tune. The audience loved
it. However, I did the same song somewhere else the next night
and didnt get anywhere near the level of response I did
earlier. What happened? Same song, but different circumstances.
Either the song didnt fit the mood of the audience, or
maybe the song was out of their age range.Its somewhat
difficult to determine what songs the audience might like. However,
you can get clues by observing the audience when other singers
are on stage. Is the audience clapping along, tapping their
toes, or bobbing their heads? Are they in a dance mode, or do
they seem to prefer love songs? Look for songs that you might
be able to tie into a current event, a recent movie, an upcoming
holiday, or something that is currently "in vogue."
age group of the audience is also an important factor. Personally,
I try to pick songs that I think might trigger positive memories
of their high school days, or I bring back great songs that
theyve forgotten about. If you sing a song that is too
old, its possible that theyve never heard the song
before. And, the same rings true for new songs with older audiences.
appealing to the audience in these three areas is a sure-shot
method for success! Keep in mind that although you may like
to sing certain songs, the audience might not enjoy them as
much as you do. But, dont let this be a limiting factor
in your song selections. You can never predict how an audience
is going to react. I myself had given up on certain songs prematurely;
thinking no one liked them. But, then I brought them back to
a different audience and had great responses.
with the kind permission of Richard
Baisner a.k.a. Grateful)