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How to Perform Karaoke Like a Pro When You’re Not

How to Perform Karaoke Like a Pro When You’re Not

It’s Friday night and you’ve hit the bar with your friends. Suddenly, they head towards the karaoke section and the one person you actually want to impress invites you to sing. Your palms are sweaty and a feeling of dread starts creeping in. The mere thought of singing in public rather than your shower sends your stomach down to your feet. How can you perform karaoke if you can’t even sing?

By reading this article before going, that’s how.

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a great singer to rock a karaoke bar. With a little know-how, a good sense of humour and just enough swagger, you’ll go from a quivering jelly to a confident Jagger.

Here are some tips:

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1. Learn to breathe like a singer

Karaoke can be daunting. When we get stressed, we tense up. When we’re tense, our vocals chords tense up too and the sound we produce is not as good as it can be. Breathing like a singer can help to loosen that tension.

The correct way to breathe is to relax, take in the air deeply, almost like filling up your stomach and then use this air as a support for your voice while singing. A couple of hours of practice of this process of filling up your lower lungs while breathing will make it easy and intuitive.

2. Practice karaoke at home

If you have a karaoke machine, great. Use it! Otherwise, you can usually find your karaoke track and lyrics online. Sing while having bath, cleaning and driving, it will benefit you more than you realise, and make sure you not only understand the lyrics of the song, but have memorised them.

Record yourself singing and listen back but don’t freak out the first time; it’s always weird to hear yourself singing when you first start. Use a full-length mirror or a smartphone to video, then watch yourself. Practice and improve your style; get comfortable with performing.

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3. Choose a winning song

When you’re starting out, try picking a song that many people are familiar with and enjoy. Upbeat numbers tend to be better crowd pleasers compared to slow numbers. Songs with long instrumental breaks or overly long songs can be awkward for a karaoke session. It should be a song that you enjoy singing and is well within your vocal range.

By picking an upbeat crowd favourite, the audience will have more fun and that will definitely make it easier for you as a performer.

4. Warm up your voice before you get up to sing

While others are singing, hum quietly along with the songs. Humming is a great vocal warm up and you’ll be surprised at the difference singing on warmed up vocal chords. There are lots of other vocal warm ups you could do but, let’s face it, you don’t want to be caught singing ‘do-re-me’ in a cubicle… not a good look.

5. Fight fear with humour

Remember, everyone’s there to have fun so you don’t need to take yourself too seriously. The best way to fight fear is with humour and, if all else fails, remember that a person who’s able to laugh at themselves is just as cool as a serious karaoke star… perhaps more so.

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6. Use a little mic technique

A beginner is usually scared and he/she unconsciously keeps the microphone a foot or two away from the mouth which makes the voice sound bleak. A more experienced singer keeps the mic close to their mouth, in order to get a nice tone. A pro who has mastered mic technique, however, keeps the mic close to their mouth until they sing louder (often higher) notes. At that point they pull the mic away by a few inches, to compensate for the sudden increase in volume, then bring it back to their mouth when the louder singing is over. This can be perfected at home with a hairbrush.

7. Give an all-out performance

Wear some glamour clothes and enact your ‘star’ fantasies. Go all the way. Giving an all-out performance is always better than hanging back. Be confident. Don’t sound apologetic for your performance. There are many professional singers who hit off notes with startling regularity but no-one cares because their stage presence is so strong (yes Mick, I’m looking at you).

8. Be a good audience

Be a good sport and cheer for other performers. Clap after every song.  A nice encouraging word can lift anyone’s spirit. Don’t wince if someone’s voice cracks up. Eventually, when you get up to perform, they’ll return the favour and cheer you on. As John Lennon said: “Instant karma’s gonna get you”.

9. Have fun

This is the most important part of any performance. Smile, groove to the music and enjoy your time. The movement will free your voice and help in having a better connection with the audience. The truth is that you’re not there to impress people—you’re there to have a great time. Let loose and share yourself with your friends and audience. Sing your heart out.

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The main thing to remember with karaoke is that a great performance doesn’t have to involve a professional singing voice. It’s not a contest and nobody expects you to be perfect. It’s for amateurs who want to have a good time and sing the songs that they love.

Featured photo credit: Stock Unlimited via stockunlimited.com

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Oliver Braithwaite

Founder/CEO of Stars & Catz

How to Have Einstein’s Brain Even If You’re Not a Natural Born Genius Join a Rock Band in One Month, from Scratch Karaoke Tips How to Perform Karaoke Like a Pro When You’re Not

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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