The following advice to performers on platform presentation is based on that issued by The British and International Federation of Festivals.
A Festival is an occasion when you want to do your best in every way and platform deportment is a very important part of your performance. Performers can greatly add to the enjoyment of Sessions by a pleasing and relaxed appearance. A performer who is at ease on the platform puts the audience at ease.
- A performer who has made the effort to prepare work should use care and thought when selecting clothes to wear at the performance.
- Smart dress is a courtesy to the audience and unless the performance calls for it (as in some Drama or Dance Classes) flamboyant or very casual clothes should be avoided.
- Instruments should have been tuned prior to the Class, so that only minor adjustment is required on the platform.
- Arrive at the Festival venue in good time, so that you feel calm and unflustered, remembering that Classes may run up to 15 minutes early.
- Skirts always look shorter on a platform, and, especially where the piece relates to a historical setting, or a mature character part, it may be more appropriate to wear a longer skirt. In the Music Discipline, female cellists and guitarists may find trousers more comfortable than skirts.
- Expensive clothes are not necessary and a white shirt or blouse and dark trousers or skirt are usually ideal.
- When a music stand is used, it should be placed so that it does not obscure the audience’s view of your playing.
- Wait quietly until the Adjudicator is ready, taking a few deep breaths, so that you begin your performance feeling comfortable.
- A performance starts before the first note, word or step and finishes after the last one.
- As a courtesy to the audience and Adjudicator, when performing ‘own choice’ pieces, please announce these items in a clear voice.
- A slight bow to the Adjudicators and audience at the end is a courtesy which rounds off your performance; do not forget to acknowledge the accompanist, if you are using one. Leave the platform without hurrying.
- After your performance, try and sit reasonably close to the Adjudicator, so that it is easy for him/her to address any remarks directly to you.
- When you are called up to receive a prize, shake hands with the presenter before taking it.
Attention to these points helps a great deal to develop a higher standard of amateur public performance.