It takes practice to get up on stage and create an engaging performance. Having said that, stage presence is something that can be learnt, and there are certain tried-and-true methods for enhancing it. It takes practice and is obviously easier said than done. “Nerves mean you’re ready,” goes a common sports proverb. In other words, if you feel anxious, you are prepared to perform. As an alternative, being very tense on stage will not convert into a strong performance, and the audience will sense this, making the performance uncomfortable. Your nerves can be conquered and turned into excitement that the audience will share with you, with the help of some encouraging self-talk and the knowledge that feeling nervous and enthusiastic are very similar emotions! Have faith in yourself; you can do it! Make sure you enjoy yourself so that your audience will as well! Any presentation requires you to engage your audience. You must connect, whether it be through the music, conversation on the mike, or pausing the performance to speak with an audience member. You won’t succeed as a performer if you can’t engage the crowd. As a result, you must arrive early to survey the audience before taking the stage. Why are they here and who are they? What information resonates with them and what information doesn’t? The ability to read an audience is a crucial one for performers. Miles Davis was infamous for playing in front of crowds while turning his back on them because he was too cool to recognize them. Ironically, that was another strategy he used to engage his audience. It worked for him to evoke a sense of mystery and awe, but it might not for others.