If you are a singer or a professional artist who often gets up in front of people, singing and performing for paying gigs or for volunteer programs, you need to find ways to really connect with your audience. You have to draw them in. If you make an effort to do this, they are going to be more impacted by your performance than they ever would be otherwise, and you can really make a difference. If you do not do it, you could sing just as well and not reach them in the same way.
1. Get over your own anxiety first.
It is natural to be a bit anxious if you are going up in front of people. This is especially true if you do not do it often. However, your nerves can cause you to be very closed off to the audience. They will feel like you do not have much energy or like you do not want to be up there. You should do what you can to get over this before you take the stage, and they will sense that, as well.
2. Make eye contact.
You need to look at your audience. Do not pick one person out for too long, but scan across them. Make eye contact and really sing to individual people. This shows them that you are conscious of their presence there. It shows that you are happy that they came and grateful that they are watching you perform. All of this forms a sort of partnership with them, which is when a performance is the very best.
3. Talk to them between numbers.
Do not just rush from one song to the next, never stopping. Pause between them and talk to the audience. Tell them that you are glad to be there. Tell a story about what your trip to get there was like. Tell a joke. These little interactions make them like you, and they will enjoy your songs more when you do this.
4. Thank them for coming.
At the end of your performance, take a moment to thank them for coming. Do not just walk off like you are the only one who is important, like you know that you are the star of the show. If you look flattered and grateful that they came to see you, they are far more likely to see you again later.