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Beware of TMI Syndrome.

Speaking of the interstitial patter between poems or songs, beware of revealing too much or saying too much or just running at the mouth in one long run-on sentence about everything that happened that spurred you to write this song or poem and then what happened at the last performance and about the embarassing episode where feminine hygiene products fell out of your purse and when your tried to grab them so the guys wouldn’t see your purse tore and some other feminine things that you really didn’t want those guys to see fell out and rolled at the feet of this really cute guy and you were so embarassed about it that you just left it there and ran and...

Just shut up and play or recite your poem already. The audience really doesn’t want to know that much.

  1. Make your introductions, exits and transitions short, relevant and graceful.
  2. Stories are fine, but not stories that make at least half your audience embarassed to be there. Keep a little decorum and dignity for Cod’s sake!
  3. Rehearse your entrances, exits and transitions. It’s the best way to get them right when you’re on the stage.
  4. If you notice you are making the audience uncomfortable, and this is not your main intention, change the show next time.
Hopefully these tips will help keep you out of the weeds during your performances. Remember, the audience is there for the songs or poetry, unless you’re at a storytelling festival. If you aren’t totally self-absorbed and oblivious, you probably know how good of a story teller you are. Don’t drive your audience away through thoughtless and uncontrolled use of your mouth.

This tip was brought to you by F. B. Knight, Curmudgeon-in-Residence at the Attila the Hun School of Poetry, Songwriting, and World Conquest.

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