Performance skills – 101 Sharpening your skills to use in every aspect of your program

November 28, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, Kids Ministry Revolution is proud to present a guest post from children’s comedian, trained thespian, member of the amazing Hillsong Kids team, author of The Thursday Blog and proud new father… FUNNY MAN DAN!

One of my greatest frustrations is that only in the church world do people think that performing, reaching and mc’ing are a natural gift. This belief means that (1) those who believe that they don’t have this gift are excused from any of the aforementioned tasks and (2) those with the gifts just have to keep performing and they will get better and better.

This concept is absolutely ludicrous. It is the same as a man saying “I have always naturally been good  ith my hands, I am going to start practicing operating on people and I am sure I will get better”. Even in the world of fictional TV shows this would be too far of a stretch. Doogie Howser MD was a wizz kid and   doctor by 16 but he still did all of the study and training…

A football team doesn’t just play games to get better but they run specific drills to improve specific  kills that will help them with the game. This is what I believe we need to start doing.

In this episode we are going to look at one skill that is crucial in on-stage speaking. In fact if I could only tell you one thing that most help you it would be this:

Truth by Vibration!

The year was 2002 and I was in a theatre class. I was performing a piece from the “Dead Poets Society”  ith a girl in my class, and I had to confess my love for her. We got to the most crucial part where I said with all my acting skill – “I love you”

The teacher stopped me and told me he didn’t believe me and to try again.

“I love you”


The teacher tried to help. He told me to just say the line. I said with no effort “I love you” and he said  PERFECT – that is it” and told me to do it in the scene. I got to the part again, I said my perfect line and he said “CUT”

Over the next 30 mins it was really painful. He got me to stop and start 20 times speaking the line and getting it perfect, then performing it and failing. After the 30 mins I still didn’t get it. I had no idea what he was saying because to me they sounded exactly the same. It wasn’t until a few months later I found out a secret that has changed the way I have performed ever since.

I went to a voice training class and the speech specialist said during a routine exercise “Truth is communicated on Vibration”.

Every time you speak, sing or make a noise a vibration is made in your body. We generally talk with a bit of chest vibration and a bit of throat vibration but when we get on stage for some strange reason most people’s voice gets a little bit higher and it goes straight to the throat. This is the easiest way to tell the difference from a preacher that has been preaching for years and a rookie. The rookie’s voice is always a little bit higher than they normally speak.

When I perform my voice goes high, goes low, goes all over the place for the enjoyment of the crowd, but whenever I want to communicate a message I make sure my chest vibrates.
Professional performers are trained to speak on vibration (that meaning in the chest) because it sounds more confident, it is more relaxing, and you can speak for as long as you want and your throat will not tire. The other main reason is that if you don’t speak on vibration people will not believe you.

So give it some practice. It is a learnt skill that takes time. It is not speaking in a deep voice but it has certain feel that has to be learnt.
The best way is to practice your message with your hand on your chest and focus on getting the  ibrations lower.

If you look at all the great preachers, performers and mc’s, you will notice that they speak very similarly to when they are off-stage. They may not realise they are speaking on vibration but have just developed that over the years. If you adopt this specific training you will find that you advance a lot quicker than those who have gone before you.

Have Fun


Performance skills – 101 Sharpening your skills to use in every aspect of

your program.