In order to help you succeed in your singing career there are some novice mistakes you will want to avoid. Just being aware of them is often all it takes for you to make the necessary changes. Here is a list of 7 common mistakes vocalists make that make them look unprofessional.

Not knowing what the next song is going to be. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what the upcoming song is during a performance. Being unsure of your songlist creates discomfort in your audience and makes you appear unprofessional. Keep a songlist on a music stand or on the floor so when you finish a tune you can quickly introduce the next one. This practice makes you look confident and in command of your band.

Being unsure of how to direct a band. If you are the lead singer, you should be able to count the band in at the beginning of songs. You also need to be experienced in directing the band for song endings. Many female singers leave this to the drummer or some other musician in the band. Not all songs require a count in, but there are tunes where you should be the one to start. Signalling with a wave of your arm when to end a song creates theatrics and looks great from an audience’s perspective. If you’re not sure how to do this watch live concerts or check out local bands. Tell your bandmates that this is something you would like to incorporate into your stage performance.

Dressing inappropriately. Whether you like it or not, your audience is making judgements about you. Unfortunately, women are scrutinized much more than men. If you’re already famous, you can get away with anything. But if you’re not, it is important to ensure that your clothing is appropriate for the venue you are performing in. A bar atmosphere allows for a much more casual attire than a restaurant or corporate event. If you are unsure, inquire beforehand about what the dress code is.

Not speaking between songs. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to performing. Even if you have great songs and a fantastic sounding band, your audience wants to hear what you have to say. Get into the habit of telling stories about specific songs. You can talk about the song itself or something about the composer. If you have an original band, let the audience in on why you wrote that song or a particularly odd thing about the tune.

Not knowing what to do with your hands. This is a common problem with beginning vocalists. Most of the times a singer holds the mic with one hand while the other hand is free (unless you play an instrument). Not knowing what to do with the free hand can feel and look awkward.

Study what other female singers do with their hands and emulate them. Practice at home in front of a mirror then implement your movements into your rehearsal. Start with small movements like holding the microphone stand, moving the mic from hand to hand or waving your arms around to accentuate certain parts of the song. As you gain confidence with your hand movements you will begin to feel and look more natural.

Not connecting with your audience. Learning to connect with your audience is a skill that great entertainers work hard at. They understand that if there is no connection between themselves and the audience, they will quickly be forgotten once people leave their venue. Many artists believe that their talent alone will attract fans. The truth is that true fans are made when they feel a connection with the singer.

A simple technique to help you connect is to look people directly in the eyes for just a few seconds. Scan around the room and make eye contact with people who are listening. This makes people feel special – that you are signing directly to them.

Not being prepared. This may be the last point but it is by far the most important one. Successful female singers always make sure that they are well prepared before hitting the stage.

This includes warming up your voice and being very familiar with your songs. Leave yourself lots of time before you perform to get to your gig so you won’t be stressed out.

These 7 common mistakes can all be avoided by making a checklist of the areas you need to improve on. Some areas are easy to correct while others take time and practice. As you persevere, you will become a better performer and project professionalism while you are on stage.

Source by Vivian Clement