Looks, Physical Appearance & Stage Use in Music (Non-Verbal Communication)

These are often referred to as KINESICS (gestures and mimics), PROXEMICS (distance and space use between communicators), CHRONEMICS (time of contact and communication),  PARALANGUAGE (intonations, pitch and volume). They envelopes about 93% of the meaning that people draw from whatever message a singer tries to pass across on stage.


Looks, Physical Appearance & Stage Use in Music (Non-Verbal Communication)

1 Kings 10:4-5

1 Kings 10:4-5

“And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.”


These Non-Verbal Communications alongside tone also include:


  • Gesticulations:

    This is about the nods, swinging of arm, rotation of the eyes etc. Which arm best expresses weakness or strength per time? The other hand should be holding the microphone when you desire to express with any arm. Be conscious of your nod for affirmation (YES) or rejection (NO) and make sure they are same with what you’re singing per time.


  • Dress sense:

    This handles how the individual arrays himself/herself to address an audience. The age range, Social Class and Gender of the audience should be the priority of the minister.

Quick Mental Drill: Imagine a 60yr old woman who is to address Teens on relationships dressed in a blouse, double wrapper and wears a head gear, then walks up stage. What Kind of ovation would she get before beginning? On a scale of 1 to 10, what would be the level of attention that would be given her?

Now imagine the same scenario, but she is dressed in a Jean skirt and T-Shirt (just add a face cap too). Aha! Now answer the questions on again.

A lot times, about 80% of the audience is first lost to improper dressing for the event/ service type.


  • Colour codes:

    Colours have their meanings and their psychological effect on the individual and entity, thus an understanding and correct use of these aid proper performance and feedback from the audience as it sets them in the mood you want best for them. The chart below is intended to help us through this process in its fastest way.


Pry BLUE Sky. Hope Healing
Pry RED Blood Life Communion.
Pry YELLOW Anointing Oil. Grace Anointing, Inauguration.
Ter. WHITE Firmament or Grey Hair Holiness, Wisdom, Innocence. Worship
Ter. BLACK Night, Charcoal. Death, Sorrow, Depression, Guilt etc. Prophetic/ Judgmental, Good Friday.
Sec. GREEN Plants. Fertility, Reproduction Fruitfulness/ Abundance.
Sec. PURPLE Blue & Red Royalty. Yuletide,
Sec. PINK Red & White Tender Love. Valentine.



Note: these colours still have a bit of variation in meaning, depending on how they perceive the incidence/ event. E.g Sky Blue in China/ India indicates death, revealing that they are hopeful the dead has gone to join their ancestors happily and not a total loss. So they have someone watching over and advocates for them


  • Speed of Movements:

    This refers to the speed at which the individual walks in an environment. This reveals the level of Confidence, Fear or Subjection to authority controlling the individual. These can be influenced the LOCUS OF CONTROL (Internal or External).



  • Space Distance:

    The amount of physical space between individuals or groups of people, depict the level, status, and intimacy of their relationships. Thus the nearer the distance between them, the closer or more intimate their relationship and vice-versa. This accounts for the unintentional distance given to a mother the child or spouse who has erred without telling her yet. This same act influences the audience at performance which makes some artistes to be seen closer to their audience than others are; except for security reasons.

It can also be tempered at intervals during performance, depending on the message passed. For instance when the performer sings about actions or human feelings, he walks down from the stage, through the isle where he could have a closer contact with his audience to strike complete sense i.e we are the same.


  • Facial Expressions:

    This is one of the most ancient and highly depended upon basis for reading a person’s emotional state. But more studies have shown that for efficient feedback, other aspects of the communication organs process have to be closely considered as its variables too. Facial expressions do vary from, Glow, Grimace, Sneer, till Smirk and more, yet its effect on the audience can’t be down played as most locals draw their meanings, messages and feedback from there. Consequently, a work on these the performer puts him in charge and on the front-line of correct expressions to his/her audience.



  • Silence:

    A lot folks believe that silence means consent, while others say it is indifference or lack of interest, yet some still believe it could be used to ignore an individual and treat as less relevant, especially when he desires the fullest of attention and feedback. This makes it one of the most potent form of suspense in communication as the audience hardly can tell what you mean or want to do next. The longer the duration of silence, the more complex it gets but if not well applied, it could be abused an impatient audience. Thus extended silence could be dominated humming or exclamatory remarks and a shout at its climax.




  • Quick Glance:

    This could also be referred to as eye contact. It is often used people to contest for superiority or authority at different levels, organizations and settings. Some others depend on it to get the truth from a particular incidence when reported, yet extra work has to be done to master the art that makes for correct expression. For this purpose, the 5 major angles would be discussed.

These are:

  1. The Direct Opposite (Face to Face) View: Sustained focus at this point is often contested for as it is seen as equality when applied. Superiors read it as insubordination while subordinates see it as a threat or stern warning.
  2. Left Side: Once the view faces left after such a contest, it reveals weakness/ inferiority and surrender.
  3. Right Side: Right shows more strength in the contest but a willingness to give in temporarily, knowing that he/ she is reinforcing to get back.
  4. Downward: This shows remorse, disappointments, fear and regrets when done before answers to the question or statement to be made.
  5. Upward: It is commonly done to remind the other person of the presence or dependence on a higher authority or God to fight the course, vindicate Him/her or pay the contestant back in time.


These form the basis for facial communication and eye contact during a musical performance/ministration. Consequently, attention should be paid to their correct use during rehearsals and stage performance at any level.


Note: Either of the above can also be done on purpose to alter judgments of this sort especially when it is known and depended absolutely upon.



  • Strategic Movement

Every stand points of the performer on stage, depends on the message to be passed across.

The 5 Strategic Points on Stage:

  1. Centre: This is the mid part of the stage where most performers are trained to begin their piece. It keeps the audience on neutral sides and helps the performer with a powerful start as the slightest movement is easily identified and reasoned out mature audience. Some regard this as confidence at the start of a performance.
  2. Backwards: Movement towards that position is best used to create a sense of defeat, regression and loss.
  3. Forward: Movement towards that part depicts Victory, Boldness
  4. Left: Regret, remorse or weakness is often expressed on that part of the stage.
  5. Right: The performer shows strength, Joy, excitement and fulfillment on this part of the stage.

The above steps and conditions should be put into full use and rehearsed accordingly, knowing well that it isn’t just practise that makes perfect but PERFECT PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT. Thus a lot people practise every day yet never become perfect because they lack CORRECT KNOWLEDGE to PERFECT PRACTISE.


These are often referred to as KINESICS (gestures and mimics), PROXEMICS (distance and space use between communicators), CHRONEMICS (time of contact and communication),  PARALANGUAGE (intonations, pitch and volume)..


For more help and further studies on the concept taught in this chapter, do more researches on KINESICS, PROXEMICS, CHRONEMICS & PARALANGUAGE.

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