Sing your way to a standing O with crooning tips from Josh Scholl, 2011 Karaoke World Championship USA winner
Tune your pipes
So you’re no Michael Bublé. Don’t let that stop you. The crowd should be able to hear you above the track. Sing with gusto, but don’t roar into the mike. If your voice is bad, admit it and laugh it off. The crowd will too.
Time it right
Before you pick a song, survey the scene. See how the crowd responds to a few acts, and then put your request in when the room hits its sweet spot: people are rowdy but still watching the stage (i.e., not wasted).
Pick a hit
Select a high-energy track you can at least sing the chorus to – or better yet, that the crowd can sing the chorus to. Some ideas: “Jump Around” by House of Pain; “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls (sing it for the ladies, of course); or “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly.
Fire up your audience
Most guys just stand around until the lyrics hit. Use that time to connect with the crowd. Bring the banter: “Where are all my Journey fans?” Start a clap. Dedicate the song to your mom. (Yes, even if it’s “Baby Got Back”.) Funny is good. Don’t apologise – it’s insecure. Remember, it’s never about the song; it’s about the performance.
Close out with confidence
Bows are boring. To end a song, drum the air to the last few beats, placing heavy emphasis on the last one. If it’s a dramatic ending, drop to your knees and throw your fist in the air. When you leave the stage, go sit next to the woman you took notice of onstage. Or end with a joke like, “Shots on this guy!” and point to the dude who was too chicken to sing.
BONUS: Crowd-pleasing rock moves
Simply pointing to the crowd can fire people up. During grand moments in the song, like a key change or the first chorus, take a knee, extend your arm, and point your index finger, sweeping from one side of the bar to the other; then pop back up on both feet.
Move from one end of the stage to the other, strutting a few steps and then stopping. Sing while executing fist pumps, snapping your fingers or hoisting your rock horns to the beat. Punctuate with rock kicks at your discretion.