Singing with charisma

Bernadette & Friends28 May 2023

Charisma is "the art of enchanting others". So says a common saying. For the speaking voice, experiments have shown: a distinctive speech melody has a more convincing effect on other people than average voices - and more seductive.

The effect of speech melody becomes vocal art in the sung word. However, the charisma of the singing voice is not only based on its ability to reach out melodically. What are the characteristics of a charismatic singing voice? And is it something you can learn: to sing charismatically?

The art of "enchanting" an audience with song: characteristics

Charisma" is often seen as a special gift, an innate ability that someone may or may not possess. He is a "born" or "gifted" charismatic, we sometimes hear. But it is misleading if we take this literally.

The beautiful phrase about the "art of enchanting others" already points to the crucial thing. It is what happens to the listeners or the audience. Whether innate or acquired: a charismatic voice captures the attention of its audience, it draws the audience quasi magically to itself, makes them lose themselves temporarily, arouses enthusiasm.

Charisma is not something fixed. The ability to captivate an audience is situation-dependent and therefore also changeable - and influenceable. This is good news for aspiring singers who find it difficult to connect with an audience. If you don't succeed the first time in being perceived as a charismatic with your singing, you don't have to accept this as natural.

If you do not have this charisma, you can develop it over time through practice. Within certain limits that are worth exploring.

Let us consider a few characteristics of charismatic singing that are mentioned again and again. These include:

  • a powerful projection: from the first line of text to the last note, the song is sung out in a melodically rhythmically coherent way;
  • Expression: loud-quiet changes, vocal colouring from breathy to "twangy", even breaks in the vocal line, convincingly express the text and mood of the song;
  • Control: Although the singing is completely absorbed in the song, in feeling and expression, it never falls out of its artistic form and loses its composure, however free the song interpretation may be;
  • Bannkraft: the ability to create an extraordinary experience for the audience with the vocal performance.

As you can guess, developing a charismatic singing voice is a goal for which there are no instructions, according to the motto: This is how every singing enthusiast becomes a charismatic. However, there are a few things you can work on to get closer to this goal - that enchanting combination of singing skills, song interpretation, style and connection to the audience.

Ability: technical singing skills

One prerequisite without which nothing works is vocal technique. Even the projection of the song lyrics into a sung vocal phrase that immediately draws the audience into the song is demanding in terms of vocal technique. It requires:

  • Breathing technique and supportto sing out the sung words to the end of the phrase without any wobbles etc,
  • a Sound attachmentwhich expresses the lyrics and mood of the song well, be it breathy, "twangy", clear or rough,
  • Purity of tone, which also includes deliberate and stylistically confident deviations from the centre of the tone, looped tones and the like,
  • nuanced gradations of quieter and louder tones, less and more accentuated text pieces.

It starts with the first vocal phrase. But there is much more to a captivating performance of a whole song, from beginning to end. In addition, there is a skilful handling of changes between chest and head voice, depending on the genre also Vocal range or the ability to "belted"(to sing with a full voice in a high register).

These vocal skills are important because you need them to modulate your voice so that you can express emotions and touch your audience. It is often unfamiliar voice pitches, very fine nuances between loud and soft or cleverly used breaks in tone that leave listeners breathless. This requires a high degree of control. But with appropriate vocal exercises and many loops of feedback and self-correction, you can learn or improve this.

Show yourself: Personality and style

To develop charismatic singing, it is important to connect with the audience when singing. The most artful singing misses the mark if the audience does not feel personally addressed by it. This danger exists above all when a vocal performance is perceived as an artifice that remains detached from the "artist" herself, the singer. Like a fatamorgana, such a performance can captivate the gaze for a moment, but then quickly disappears.

So bring yourself into your song, with your own personality and experiences. Show yourself, depending on the message of your song, with your struggles, longings or with your lust for life. An intense Engaging with the text Your song can help you prepare.

Also explore different genres and different expressive techniques to find your own style. You may find that certain vocal styles or tone colourings suit you better than others - like some like to grind their notes in with a vocal fry, others with a whisper or something else. Try out many different means of expression and use them for your singing style.

Relationship with the audience & stage presence

"Charisma" is a relational event between singer and audience. At a live concert, it is never the voice alone that is perceived as charismatic by the concert audience. It is charismatic in combination with the singer's contact with his audience through eye contact and body language.

Making this connection with the audience, your "Stage presence"is also something you can work on. Helpful tips for this are:

  • Feeling good and confident: based on good preparation with many rehearsals, exude confidence and make the audience feel good.
  • Attention and communication: reacting to the audience through body language and facial expressions, for example seeking eye contact, smiling back, being humorous, using situational comedy, cheering the audience on.
  • Move and fill the space: Don't just stand in front of the mic, but take the mic in your hand and use the whole space of the stage for the performance, e.g. stand by individual musicians, sit on a monitor box, even move to the edge of the stage to another part of the audience.
  • Stage outfit: Choose clothes and accessories that match the style of music, express the message of the music and one's own personality, with the courage to use striking colours and shapes.

Conclusion & recommendation

What constitutes a charismatic singing voice can never be completely explained. The "magic", its spellbinding power, ultimately remains a mystery. Nevertheless, you can do a lot to enchant your audience with your singing.

While some are more gifted than others at an early age, everyone can work on finding and developing their own vocal charisma. Our recommendation for you is, in a nutshell:

Concentrate on developing your singing technique, your personal style and your stage presence. With your passion for singing, the courage to try things out and the necessary discipline to practise at home, in the rehearsal room and live, you can go far. And at some point, after a successful performance, you will say: "What a charismatic voice!

You can find exercises for good singing technique in my online singing courses, at:

Sing A Song - Be Happy

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