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Interacting with your audience and getting feedback from them is a great indicator of how the performance is. Read more on how to keep your audience engaged and captivated during your online or virtual performance.
Involve the audience. A lot of choirs rehearse for weeks before their events. That leaves lesser room for spontaneity and being able to take audience requests. So while rehearsing, you should leave a few minutes in between songs to interact with the audience. This can be done through questions, calls & responses, interactions with the audience members, or sing-alongs for a few popular songs your choir may be performing. For example, the choir director can introduce certain members of the choir, or tell a personal story relevant to the evening of the event. This creates affinity for the audience and makes the choir relatable. Taking requests for songs also makes the performance more relatable and the audience is much more likely to sing along if they know the song. Since you are engaging with your audience online, you can bring them up on the virtual stage as well. This makes them feel important, and you can talk to them without a lot of interference.
Invite audience members to sing a song at the end. Not only does this keep them engaged and make them feel as if they are a part of the performance, but it can also act as an invitation for them to join your community choir. This can be particularly successful during online events because you can see all the audience members individually.
Make the performance personal if possible. This could be in the form of the music itself or personal traits that the choir members bring to the performance. Since you are conducting a virtual event, you may have an international audience. You can try to perform a song or say a few words in their language. You can also share stories about people who they can relate with, like the pastor of the local church in the case of church choirs. And if you’re able to make these individuals a part of your performance, it creates even more affinity towards your choir.
Plan your choir events so as not to be repetitive. If you are performing the same repertoire, it is good to try new audiences so that you can avoid playing the same songs for the same audience. Since you are conducting virtual events, this can be done without the choir traveling to different venues, and you can also hone your repertoire around your best performances.
Increase your visibility with dedicated cameras pinned on the virtual venue for the more prominent choir members, like the choir director. You can also increase your reach by spreading the word about your choir event on social media channels. If you are engaging with an event management platform like FeelitLIVE, you can also amplify your event through the platform’s social media.
Always look for audience reactions so you can adapt your live performance. You can change the energy of the performances based on whether the audience looks engaged, bored, or confused. Always be receptive to feedback, be it direct or indirect. On FeelitLIVE (for instance 😇) you can also see your audience's reactions through emojis. Since this is a visual representation of their emotions, it is easier for you to gauge the room and react accordingly.
Engage through virtual features like polls and forums. You can conduct polls before the event starts, and hold multiple forum discussions where you can directly talk to your audience members. With features like private chats with specific audience sets, gamification, and e-auctions, virtual platforms today offer real-time engagement for choirs.
A good performance also includes good storytelling. Be it through the choice of songs, the slight pauses in between to let the audience react, or changing voice dynamics from loud to soft. Above all, ensure that you give your audience a performance to remember. This could be through a mix of the choice of songs or music, the choir performance, stage setup, and lights.
You should ensure that all the choir members acknowledge the audience at the end of the repertoire. Take a bow, a simple bow of appreciation.
To see how Feelitlive and its multiple features for engagement can help choirs engage with their audiences online, you can have a look at the Encore of the Grand Finale of Canada’s Top Choirs.