I often find parallels between musicians and presenters. While they are both putting on a show (of sorts), they still need to come across as human to be able to connect with their audience. In that attempt, though, they sometimes share a bit too much.
I was reminded of this at a recent concert, where at one point the singer admitted that she was still getting stage fright, even after 18 years of making music. At various points during the performance, she had already referred to being somewhat beside herself this evening.
What she didn't seem to have learned during her career, though, was that it's better not to mention these things to your audience.
Sure, admitting that you're nervous will get you some bonus points. Many in the audience will think something like
I can totally understand that - I wouldn't want to be up there now either! But what, exactly, do you and your audience gain from this confession? It may make you feel better, but your audience will now look at your actions even more critically than before. Consequentially, mistakes will be noticed even more.
Which is also what happened during said concert: I was constantly wondering what was supposed to be so bad about the singer's performance on that evening. I had seen the band before and honestly couldn't see a problem. Okay, so at one point, she missed her entry - but that has happened to every musician, including more famous people, at one point or another.
What you do in such a situation is to apologise and start over and it will soon be forgotten. Unless, of course, you keep reminding your audience that you're nervous and likely to make mistakes. Then they will remember. So don't do that.
(Image Credits: "Nervous?" by Freddie Peña, from Flickr. Not the person mentioned in the article, btw.)
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