Singing Contest Tips – Overall Image and Presentation!

Taking part in a singing contest or competition encompasses more than just having a great voice, or being able to control your stagefright or performance anxiety.

It also requires suitable dress sense, makeup skills as well as great styling and presentation in order to create the image that suits you as a performer on stage!

In my career as a vocal coach, I have also judged a number of singing competitions, both small-scale as well as nation-wide.

So trust me when I say that sometimes, contestants have the weirdest dress sense!

This has motivated me to provide this simple but useful guide on what to wear, as well as how to prepare your look for singing competitions, so as to impress your judges.

Before we talk about these presentation and styling tips, be sure to check out these other tips on how to impress your judges at the initial audition, as well as how to progress in singing competitions and possibly even win the contest too!

Now, here are some useful tips for overall presentation and styling for competitions:

Presentation/Styling Tip # 1: Dress Appropriately for your Song and Character

I have seen people come to singing competitions dressed like they were attending a Cosplay function or even a wedding dinner!

I have even seen people who come dressed in shorts and tank tops and slippers! This is really too sloppy for a singing contest, and it really does put off the judges!

Be sure you understand what song you are singing, and dress appropriately for your song.

This means that if you were singing a ballad, tone down on your dressing or wear something slightly more presentable or formal.

However, if you were singing a rock song, perhaps you might wish to wear a jacket or something with leather, or wear some metal accessories to accentuate your look!

It all depends on the kind of song you are singing, and also what kind of character or personality you wish to portray to the judges.

If you are very much into R&B or Hip Hop, then perhaps you might wish to go for something more ‘bling’, with shiny accessories to bring out that effect!

Do be careful not to over-dress though, and always get your friends, family or someone with a good dress sense to give you some advice on how you look.

Presentation/Styling Tip # 2: Dress Appropriately for the Competition

If you were only taking part in a small-scale competition in your neighbourhood, I would not advise you to load up on accessories or over-the-top costumes!

However, if you were taking part in a nation-wide singing contest with television and media coverage, then you would do well to accessorize and also to make sure that your clothes stand out on camera and on stage!

It is a good idea to customize your clothing, and to make some subtle changes so as to make you stand out from among the crowd!

For example, if you were planning a Victorian theme for your next song item, you might wish to get a velvet jacket and sew some frills on the sleeves so that you achieve that effect!

Or, if you were singing something modern and contemporary, you might wish to mix and match colours with your shirt and jacket and even accessories in order to create a more layered and funky look!

Customizing your clothing also sends out a signal to the judges that you have taken more time and effort than the rest to really stand out from amongst the crowd!

Trust me, you will be well-rewarded…

Presentation/Styling Tip # 3: Stage Makeup is Different from Normal Everyday Makeup

You may have heard about this before from others who have more experience in performing on stage.

Stage makeup usually has to be slightly thicker and more coloured as compared to normal everyday makeup.

I have seen contestants who look great off stage, but when they get onto the stage, they look as pale as a ghost!

This is because they only put on their normal everyday makeup, and when the bright stage lights hit their face, they look really pale and without colour!

So, be slightly more generous with your makeup when performing on stage, and make sure you test it out by using the yellow stage lights that usually come with the dressing table in changing rooms.

If not, then test your makeup out with some strong lighting and see how you look.

One word of caution though: For those with oily skin, putting on your makeup too early may result in your makeup looking blotchy or runny after some time!

Be your own judge and put on your makeup at an appropriate timing before your song item, so as to avoid this problem.

Also, do not worry if you look slightly exaggerated with your stage makeup when you are off-stage! When you finally get onto the stage, you will definitely look wonderful and polished!

Seek professional advice regarding makeup if you really need, and you will be able to learn many useful tips from these experts!

Presentation/Styling Tip # 4: Hair Styling

Everything tends to be a little bit exaggerated when we are talking about stage dressing, and stage hair also has to be bigger and bolder!

I have seen contestants who come to singing contests without styling their hair, resulting in their hair looking flat and lifeless…

This also has the effect of making them look lifeless as a whole, and reflects a lack of effort in image and styling! (Definitely a minus point in the judges’ eyes..)

I have also seen some people come to competitions with beehive hair (just like Amy Winehouse) or dinner-and-dance over-the-top hairstyles!

Be sure to seek professional advice if you are unsure of how to do your hair, so that you do not over-do it either!

Your hair has to look great and styled, and yet suitable for the song that you are performing, as well as for the character that you are portraying as a singer.

Presentation/Styling Tip # 5: Look at yourself as a Whole Package

Once you have settled on the individual clothing, hair and makeup styling decisions, put them all together and look at yourself as a complete package!

This is because if we were to work on the individual aspects of your image on their own, you may find that when you put them together, you may turn out looking like a monster!

So, always work on your image as a whole, and make sure that all the individual styling aspects come together in a coherent and presentable package.

You should look appropriately styled, without going over the edge, and portray a sense of confidence as well as effort in making yourself look polished for the competition!

The judges will definitely pay you compliments if your styling is done well, and the first impression is definitely extremely important for any singing contest!

These are just some useful presentation or styling tips for any singer wishing to impress judges or even their audience at a singing contest or performance!

For those who wish to read about some general tips for all competitions, click here now!

You should also bear in mind these useful vocal warmups that help us to be more confident of our singing voice!

Just remember, take time and effort to prepare for singing contests and you will definitely be duly rewarded eventually!

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