Become a Better Stage Performer with Dianna David

Dianna David and Grace Miles

When I arrived to the studio, I deposited my bag on the sofa and took my pants off.

Dianna wasn’t weirded out, so I knew we could be friends. And, chill out, it was raining and I was wearing white pants, so I layered sweats on top.

Dianna David is a movement storyteller, and I love her energy. We first met when she spoke at a TEDx talk I helped organize. Her talk was titled “Have the balls to follow your dreams,” which, before attending clown school and becoming an onstage entertainer, she was an engineer.

If you or your parents have immigrated from another country, you might be interested in this, as Dianna talks about how she got here. (Of course, music isn’t the most conventional of jobs, either, so you can apply this whether or not you’ve immigrated.)

In this video, Dianna, who’s the seasoned entertainer, shares ways to become a better onstage performer, plus, tips for people who want to transition into a creative career.

Dianna’s website / Facebook

How to be a better onstage performer:

1. Don’t let a racing heart throw you off track. That just means your body is ready for the stage. (I loved the research that says stress can be good for you.)

2. Breathe, Dianna says. Tell your body to reset.

In the past, during music exams, I would be so nervous that I’d start playing before I sat down (especially during ear testing, when you had to recreate a melody that you’ve heard). Don’t do this.

Your mind will hold onto that melody for the extra second that it takes for you to adjust that bench, the same way your body deserves time to digest the situation. You are more powerful than you think, so breathe easy.

3. Don’t slouch. Smile. Maintain eye contact. Now, forget everything you know about being a performer, and just do what you love.

Want some public speaking tips? Ann Makosinski shared some of her favourites here.

What’s your favourite performance tip? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.


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  • Reply Alyssa December 18, 2014 at 8:11 am

    To prepare for the stage fright that more often then not always comes, before performance when I practice, i’ll run up and down the stairs several times to get my heart racing to get the same effect as if I was performing, and then sit down and practice. :)

    • Reply Grace Miles December 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Alyssa, I love this! I always tell people to practice performing after they’ve had an argument, because that mimics the adrenaline rush in performance. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Ben@McConley May 21, 2015 at 3:03 am

    Raise your standards. Simulate the entire performance experience and believe the audience is rooting for you. Take a deep breathe when you give a performance.

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