Here’s some stuff that I’ve noted about the way we interact with audiences:
Audiences listen about 50% with their eyes. What they see is what their brains think they’re hearing.
In any face to face communication with someone, we’re listening to what they’re saying, but we’re also on high alert for any non verbal cues.
When people are speaking to us, we make eye contact – and our eyes are an integral part of the conversation.
Babies respond to very simple line drawings of smiley faces or angry faces.
Audiences are often just a little too far away to see the choir members’ eyes – but eyebrows are visible.
Some people have naturally expressive faces. Some people don’t.
If we collect together this data, what we end up with is a picture of how important it is to have our faces matching the emotion of the song.
However, I have been known to settle for a choral faces that show only a modest amount of interest. What’s the best way to fake this?
Raise the eyebrows.
With the eyebrows raised, that face cannot look slack and disinterested. It also can’t adopt the knitted brows of anger. (Always a bit off-putting when the emotion is supposed to be sweet or tender)
The bottom line here is that there’s nothing quite as intriguing as someone who is vitally interested in communicating with us. Audiences love the fact that a performer appears to be making the effort – and from a distance, raised eyebrows might be all it takes.