10 Tips for better crowd banter

Thursday, February 28, 2019 by Rebekah Keogh | Uncategorized

We all know that feeling that comes over us when your guitarist needs to change a string or tune up and you know you should say something to fill that awkward silence but your mind is blank, you have no words, the tumbleweed is rolling across the floor..you feel eyes boring through you waiting impatiently for the entertainment to commence. It is after all your responsibility to make sure everyone has a good time right? This is something I have struggled with but have started to find ways to combat it. It all comes down to preparation. Below I have shared a few ways to help improve your crowd banter.


10 Tips for better crowd banter


  1. Energy and enthusiasm will keep your audience interested. Don’t leave moments of awkward silence. In these moments, have a something ready to talk about. Prepare what you want to say. Don’t just leave it to chance. We practice our songs, and we should practice our banter also. Study other artists, comedians and public speakers and take note of things that work well for them. Bullet point this information on a flashcard and leave it somewhere that you can glance at it when an opportunity arises.

  1. Mention your band name, and when you are playing next. It is also a good idea to have business cards ready for anyone who shows interest. You will often have people come up to you during or after the gig asking where they can find out where your next gig is.
  1. Find out what the drink promos are on the night and tell the crowd what they are. The bartenders might appreciate this as well. You could say something like ‘It’s time to get another round of drinks in because we’re about to take it up a notch and you won’t want to miss it.’ (This is not usually done at original gigs.)

  1. Enjoy yourself! The audience will pick up on your energy. If they see you enjoying yourself, they will too. If you are having a bad day or are feeling a bit anxious, have a plan in place to get you in good form (like listening to feel good music on your way to the gig or when you’re getting ready.) I talk about having a ritual in another blog post which can apply to gigging also. You can check it out here: https://rebekahsvocalstudio.mymusicstaff.com/Blog?PostID=54074

  1. Speak clearly, stand confidently, make eye contact. (Again, if you are an original artist, lack of eye contact could be part of your stage persona, so not always necessary for you.)

  1. Talk about how great the crowd is tonight, and how you love playing in this venue.
  1. Interact with your bandmates (if you have any). It is intriguing for an audience to watch musicians smiling, laughing and rocking out together.

  1. Engage with the people who are reacting positively to you. If someone or a group of people are singing along, acknowledge them in some way, maybe just a wink, a smile or thank them for singing along.

  1. Announce your ‘last song’, make it a good one. But always have a couple more because you WILL be asked to play on! A quick google search will bring up a list of songs that go down well at pub gigs. But you will discover your own as you gain more experience. An encore can also work quite well for original artists but generally only headline acts do this type of thing.

  1. If the crowd are singing along, wave your hand back and forth or clap for them! Hand gestures can be a good way to communicate.Anything you can do to make your gig more streamlined and entertaining is worth working on. Happy gigging!