If you want to sharpen up on your stage presence for the next show you're preparing for, here are a few basic tips I've learned along the way that have worked really well for me.
1) Learn the correct way to perform your mandatory poses: The mandatory poses are one of the most important parts of the game, thus they're mandatory. I've seen way to many physiques lose a round or sometimes an entire competition due to the fact that didn't know how to show their physique. After all those weeks of hard training and strict dieting the final step is to present your physique to the judges and spectators as best you can when you're on stage. During the comparison rounds this could be the deciding factor in who walks away with that sponsorship or that pro card. When you're on stage, you want your physique to catch the attention of the judges immediately and remain that way throughout the entire prejudging.
Make sure when you do your quarter turns that your body looks symmetrical in all four directions. A common mistake is standing with the arms too far away from the body, or standing with the legs too far apart. Try to find the best stances and positions in your mandatory poses that allow all of your body parts to compliment each other.
2) Pose for the judges: When you're onstage, especially at the prejudging, the most important applause you can receive is from that look of approval from the judges. When the judges call your number for the first call out, or any call out for that matter, that's their way of applauding you. Therefore, when you go through the mandatory poses, impress them and try not to get caught up in performing for the audience. I've seen competitors get disillusioned by thinking that the audiences' response to their performance is the same as what the judges might be thinking. Save that for the evening show. The prejudging performance should strictly between you and the judges.
3) Choose the right music: This is absolutely essential! Even though the beat might be bumpin', or soft enough to hear the audiences' eyes blink, make sure that the music fits your routine and that it doesn't overshadow your performance. Some competitors get the idea that the popularity of the music they pose to is somehow going to give them a better posing routine. My best suggestion is to choose several types of music with different moods or tempos, different highs and lows, and practice your routine to each several times. Then stop listening to the music, but continue practicing your posing daily. A day or two before the competition play those choices of music again and see which one catches your attention. Put the other choices aside, and then fine tune your routine to the piece you chose.
4) Don't get addicted to the mirror: A common mistake that competitors make is becoming their own best fan around contest time. True, the mirror is important when practicing your mandatory poses and in the early stages of developing a posing routine in order to fine tune your poses and to choose which ones best suit your physique. But even more importantly, one should concentrate on what each pose "feels" like. When you're on stage in front of the judges and the audience, there are no mirrors to make adjustments. A technique I like to use is the "visualization" technique. Once I've choreographed the routine and selected the music, I like to sit down with my eyes closed, play my music, and visualize my posing routine from the judges and from the audience's perspective. Remember, whatever you see is what they see!
Hopefully these tips will come in handy for your next competition.
Train Hard! Eat smart!