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Arts & Entertainment

Captivating An Audience


Lesson time 10:20 min

Capture your audience's heart. Follow Usher as he shares his best tips on how to read a room, trust your instincts, and win over the crowd. He also breaks down one of the hardest performances of his life.

Teaches The Art of Performance
In his first ever online class, Usher teaches you his personal techniques to captivate audiences across 16 video lessons.


It's all about your connection to the song, to the person, to the people, to the group, the audience that you're singing to. It's not ways in what you say. It's more in what you do. What you're doing here, who you are here. They may not know who you are. They may not necessarily like the song that you're singing, but there has to be something that connects them to you. It's great to have success. It's great to have sold out shows to be able to perform to audiences all over the world. But no matter rather it's a small room or a massive stadium, I feel connected to my fans. I feel their dedication and they feel my dedication. That's my goal. [MUSIC PLAYING] Being able to read the room is one of the things that I think makes you a great performer. But when I'm performing, even in front of thousands and thousands of people, I'm looking in the audience, making sure that the connection is real. I'm looking in their faces. I'm singing the song, covering the dance. If I realize that they need something more than just the dance, I'll step out from what I'm doing and I'll go down and I'll perform the lyric. It takes my performance to another level when I'm able to read to room properly, because I know what they're expecting, I have an idea of what I should use in that moment. Like a politician, right? So a politician walks around a room. He gets to know people. He talks to people. He asks questions. He greets them. He talks to them. He gets to see what's on their mind. And then later on, when he does his speech, he then brings some of what he picked up along the way into his speech to personalize it, because you're performing to a specific person in the audience. You know what they like based off of who you know they are. If they're conservative, if they are aggressive, if they're looking for love, if they're there because they just want to get away, having a hard time in a relationship, so you know that this song is about a relationship, a breakup. You now, you look over at them and you make that connection, because you've now read the room properly. You're performing for an audience that you know has been drinking. And you know that they want to have a great time. So then you obviously know that you have to make a deeper connection with them. Maybe you have them clap. Maybe you bring them into the performance because you know that they're just there to have a good time. Maybe they're not listening to each and every part of what you're performing. They're not critiquing your performance in that way. They just want to have a great time. So you then put your energy outward into the audience. There's an acoustic audience, where it's a very private setting. There's not a lot of equipment. It's just a very intimate room and an opportunity to make your performance a lot more heartfelt and direct to that ...

About the Instructor

Usher, winner of 8 Grammy Awards, reveals the technical skills, career lessons and breakthrough advice that he has used to captivate audiences for over 25 years. For the first time ever, learn how Usher approaches performance and wins over audiences from the studio to the stage. There has never been a class like this before.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

All about being committed and pushing through. Gracias! x

it was a refreshing perspective that I think made me look at art making differently and made me a better teacher

Awesome class! No matter what type of artist you are, Usher can help you with elevating yourself as a professional.

This masterclass with Usher is amazing, it's really helped me to believe in myself and find the strength within myself to keep going. Thank you Usher.


A fellow student

I am really trying to step away from my guitar and connect with my audience at an intimate level and this lesson really helped

Meg N.

I wish I'd taken this course 4~5 years ago - I had a job as a college adjunct instructor, and using these skills to connect and ...(sorry) entertain the college students .... to get them into studying and learning what they were required to learn - would have been great. *sigh* A missed opportunity. Don't YOU miss it, please! Captivating your audience can be a real game-changer if you need to make presentations, no matter what the content you are delivering!

A fellow student

I enjoyed it. It's something that I constantly work at and have become known for. I like engaging audiences into the show.

Kalia D.

That was very valuable. Meet the character of the performance. There is like 'autistic' (i.e. classical music), 'empathic' (like a funeral singer), and what you could call 'sympathic': you have not so much an idea what everybody IS feeling, but you know how you can MAKE them feel. ('Now clap your hands! etc.) Each has their own place and appeal. Like he says, this connection to the audience thing is something almost mystical. I always wondered how people like Michael Jackson could captivate literally the world, although off stage they lived in their own microcosmos. Maybe there is also 'pluropathic', that you have a sense for what a crowd needs, not so much each individual. 'I could imagine myself watching my own performance...' His assignments are a lesson of their own. You have to actively create opportunities to train and perform. Haha, friends and family?! I know why. They are the most difficult to perform to... :)

Supriya J.

This class was awesome, i am so happy that i have got some important points to improve my live performance. THANK YOU SO MUCH USHER ..

Romano K.

Great advice. This is one area in my live performance delivery that requires much more work.


I LOVE this, this also helps with regular careers and jobs and just making good friends in general> : )


Thank you!! Thank you!! These are life skills!! I am a speaker and I can totally relate to all you’ve said.. Speaking to that one person and capturing the room.. Very valuable... I love you..

Shalanda C.

This is awesome. I don't think I will be using this as a performer because I'm not, but I can use these lessons throughout life.

Joe L.

As a Guitarist, Musician and performer and just starting this course I am already implementing what I'm learning. I am using a wireless system so last night while playing at the Nest in Indian Wells, CA. I walked around and was able to connect with more of the audience than I normally do. What Usher is teaching us works. I not only connected better to the people I felt more relaxed and natural about what I was doing. I'm not a singer but I use my Guitar to sing for me. Thanks Usher and Master Class for this opportunity to learn and expand.