Using Performance Games to Help Conquer Stage Fright

Create a safe and fun environment for participants to Create a safe and fun environment for participants to gain confidence performing in front of others

Performance Games help build your participants’ performance skills and confidence on stage in a less intimidating way than a full-fledged performance. These events are perfect for participants not quite ready for an open mic night or other public events. Provide regular opportunities that are fun, relevant, and interactive to help build confidence and a sense of community. 

Performance Games can be used as an incentive or a break from the normal routine. For example, guitar participants could participate in Air Guitar instead of their weekly lesson or vocalists could create a Karaoke Competition.

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How to… 

  • Use popular culture TV, YouTube shows, or late-night talk show skits.  Involve your participants in creating fun team building games and activities that anyone can participate in, regardless of skill 
  • Set rules and expectations for participation (ie. no “booing”) to support an empathetic culture of caring and respect among participants 
  • Keep these activities “in-house” and small scale  
  • When participants are ready, encourage them to raise the stakes of their performances (e.g. perform at an open mic night or showcase event, etc) 

Set up a weekly or monthly rotation of fun activities/events such as: 

  • Karaoke Competition: Using the popular TV show (or any variation of karaoke) singers have a safe way to perform in front of their peers. Set up 4-5 chairs in the same way a car would be set up and have participants sing along to their favorite artist.  
  • Lip Sync Competition: Each participant picks his or her favorite song to lip-sync. The focus is on the believability of the performer. 
  • Air Guitar or Air Band Competition: Performance is mostly classic guitarist moves such as jumping, spinning, headbanging, etc. The audience votes for a winner (by applause) and they win a prize. 
  • Beatbox Battle: Separated into age divisions (13-15 & 16-18), each participant gets 3 minutes to show off his or her beatbox skills. 
  • Singing Bee Competition: A list of popular songs are chosen and presented for each contestant. At a certain point, the music stops and the participant must complete the lyrics. The judging is based on knowledge of lyrics, not on vocal talent. 
  • Battle of the Bands: Form groups who perform and ”battle” each other for the top prize. 
  • Lobby Performances: Regularly scheduled (e.g. once per month) time when a small ensemble performs in the lobby welcoming members and guests to the building. 
  • “Rock Band” Competition: Sign up “bands” of 4 members each and have them compete in a battle of the bands type event using the popular video game, “Rock Band.” 
  • “Guitar Hero” Competition: Using the popular video game, “Guitar Hero,” host a competition in each level of ability. The winners of each level then compete head to head. Overall winner is based on the percentage of accurate notes played. 
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