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How to Run a Successful Karaoke Show

Everybody Sings

Although it looks easy, running a successful Karaoke show can be extremely difficult.  Since Karaoke originated in Japan over twenty years ago, it has become a popular pastime for people around the world.  Karaoke fans rush to their local hangout so they can perform their favorite songs in front of an audience.  With all these would-be stars clamoring for their turn on the microphone it can be hard for the novice Karaoke Jock to keep things running smoothly.  I can tell you from experience that attitude, setup, singing, praising and saying goodnight are the only five things you really need to remember in order to have a successful Karaoke show.

A good, positive attitude is the single most important factor in having a successful karaoke show.  If you have never gotten up in front of a group of people and sang Karaoke, then you may not know how hard it is.  Until you become a seasoned veteran your palms will sweat and your heart will pound every time you get up on that stage.  Your stomach will churn and you’ll wish you were anywhere but where you are.  Karaoke singers put their guts on the line when they get up to sing and it is important for the KJ to be as positive and encouraging as possible.  While you might be able to get away with messing up on the other three steps, attitude can make or break your show.

Once you have your attitude properly adjusted, you can move on to setup.  This is the most routine part of your job and your routine should never vary.  First you hand out your songbooks.  It’s a good idea to have these color-coded for easy reference.  This is also a good time for getting a feel for the crowd so, it’s best to scatter the books throughout the room and take the time to say hello to everyone.  Next you’ll put out your song slips and song request box.  The songs slips and song request box allow the KJ to stay well organized and because of this, it is a better method for having your singers sign up.  While your singers are looking through the songbooks, you can move onto the stage and begin to get things ready up there.  Turn on your lights first so you can see what you’re doing.  Next, you’ll pull out your song discs and get them organized.  Then, you’ll want to turn on your equipment, test it to make sure it’s all working and get ready for the next step.

Singing!  This is the where the real fun begins.  You’ll want to check your attitude one more time before you get the ball rolling because this can also be the most challenging part of your night so.  The KJ usually sings the first song.  This gives you a chance to test the sound and make any last minute adjustments you may need.  If you have song slips turned in already then it is a simple matter of calling the first singer to the stage.  Keep your singers organized so that no one person sings two songs in a row.  Also, try to be sure every singer has a turn each time you go through your song slips.  If you have not yet received any song slips then it is your job to encourage the people up onto the stage.  This is not the time to be shy.  You want singers and you want them now!  If there are people in the audience that you recognize as regular Karaoke singers, call them up on stage and get them singing.  While you never want anyone to feel forced, you’ll find that most devoted Karaoke singers don’t need a lot of coaxing.  Once everyone in the crowd sees how much fun the people on stage are having, they’ll want to get in on the fun too.

Always remember to praise your singers’ efforts once they have finished singing.  Even when they didn’t sound so good, it is important that they feel good about being up on stage.  Never let anyone ridicule or deride your singers.  It’s hard enough to get up there and sing without having to endure the taunts of your peers so be sure to put a stop this type of behavior immediately.  Always encourage the crowd to get involved by cheering the singer on and remember to change your phrasing now and then.  There’s nothing worse than listening to the same monotone saying “Good job so and so.” again and again.  Be enthusiastic in your praise and people will catch your spirit.

All good things must come to an end and a night of Karaoke is no exception.  You will want to give last call for songs an hour or so before you will be finished, depending on the number of singers you have.  Be sure to give them time to fit in their last songs, then pick up your songbooks and put your song supplies away.  When you reach the final singer from the audience, it is a good idea for the KJ to finish off with an appropriate song.  “Goodnight Sweetheart”, “Take a Bow” and “Closing Time” are a few good choices to perform for an ending song.  At last you’re ready to turn off your equipment and close down your stage.  If you have followed these five steps correctly then you will know that everybody has had a great time and is sure to come back to sing with you again.  You can go home for some well-deserved rest knowing that you ran a successful Karaoke show.