Stage Fright – Convert The Worried To Worship!

Abbie Stancato of Rockin' God's House

Last week I discussed my experience with my Audition for “The Voice.” This week let’s discuss how to convince the frightened within the congregation to stand up with confidence, and take the stage in worship.

My recent encounter with nervousness made me reflect upon the praise team I lead, and those who are just too freaked out to consider joining. Is there anything that can be done to cure and control stage freight? What logic, words or prayer will stop someone’s knees from shaking?

According to Daun Weiss—an Instructor of Singing at California State University,  “The number one cause for stage fright is lack of preparation.”

Therefore, here are some suggestions for adding newbies to your praise team.

Acknowledge that first time performers are most likely going to be freaked out. The experience is new, and they have very little if any experience to provide confidence.

The services I lead always contain a “Pre-Worship” song. It’s a first song of the service which provides as the opportunity for a debut performance. The congregation is just getting situated, I allow everyone to remain seated, and with a small gap between the “Pre-Worship” song and worship set, it allows the least stressful spot to offer a debut. If the performance is not up to par, the separation between the intro and worship set does not affect the quality, or flow of the service.

To prepare the newbies, I begin by offering them the music weeks in advance. If they are taking lessons, I’ll speak to their instructor for additional preparation. I’ll offer my personal music sheets and chord charts for the instructor to advance the learning curve,

Next I’ll schedule a one on one. Work with them in my studio or at the church, so they can begin to understand how it feels to perform outside of the comfort of their home. With consecutive one on one practice, I’ll crank up the church PA system to allow them to hear their voice or instrument, bigger than life. Finally, I’ll schedule them in the weekday practice with the band. I often try to schedule at least two weekday practices with the band, and finally the practice prior to the first service.

The bottom line, you must do as much as possible to build a comfort level. The more they experience along the path to showtime, they less frightened they’ll be!