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How To Perform a Poem Like A Spoken Word Poet

Updated on December 29, 2014
wisdom25 profile image

Maurice Bishop, a powerful, spoken word Poet currently serving in the United States Army. Published Author & Motivational Speaker.


Do you wonder how spoken word poets are able to capture their audience through their words? Do you want to know how spoken word poets practice? Do you want to know how to perform like a spoken word poet? If you say yes, then I have 4 tips that will turn you into a true spoken word poet.

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is memorize the poetry you wrote. I usually memorize the first four lines until it's embedded in my head and then I'll memorize the next four lines and so on. The question everybody wants to know is how do you know when you have your poetry memorized? The answer is if you can quote your poetry line for line with many distractions then you know your poetry by heart. I've seen many poets quote their poetry in front of their team while their coaches are banging the paddle to the cooking pot and talking over that poet. I've personally quoted my poetry while my friends are laughing, making jokes and even bumping me around. These training techniques teaches you how to be focus and to overcome all distractions. When you are on stage it is easy to get distracted so it is imperative to practice so you won't forget your words.

Step 2

The second thing you need to do is practice projecting your voice. You can't capture your audience with a whisper and quiet voice. You need to speak loud and let your audience know you have something to say. When you project your voice it not only capture your audience attention but it makes them want to listen even more. In poetry slams competitions you are judge on how well you project your voice and how well you capture your audience.

Step 3

The third thing you need to do is practice using hand gestures and face expressions. When you are on stage you want to be able to draw your audience into your world. You want your audience to believe what you're saying. If I do a poem about my girl breaking my heart, I'm not going to stand on stage with my hands behind my back, no expression on my face and just quote the poem. You either going to put your audience to sleep or they are going to stare at you and probably not remember anything you said. Facial expressions and hand gestures depending on the topic of your poem will cause your audience to be on the edge of their seat. I would suggest that you keep practicing your facial expressions in front of the mirror. You need to practice this until you believe the poem yourself. When you are on stage you should become a different person.

Step 4

The last thing you need to do to perform like a spoken word poet is keep performing at local open mic venues, talent shows, cafe shows, etc. The more you perform on stage the better your performance is. Your confidence level should be increasing as you began performing in more shows. The more you practice the more you become better.


Thanks for reading this blog. If you practice these steps every day I can guarantee you that you will perform like a spoken word poet. I hope you enjoy this blog and good luck on your journey!

Blood on Paper
Blood on Paper

Blood on Paper is an emotional and heartfelt poetic pieces that ministers the gospel of Jesus Christ to the hearts, minds, and souls of the urban youth. Maurice 'Wisdom' Bishop powerful and poetic words takes you on a journey of his past experiences, the lives of others, and illustrating stories to show you God's love for us; as well as those who reject him. His powerful and anointed words will cause you to examine your own life and make a decision that will change your life forever. Maurice 'Wisdom' Bishop was born and raised in South Philly. He is currently serving in the United States Army and is deployed to Iraq. He will be back in the states this year. Before he joined the army, Maurice performed his poetry in churches as well as other places such as; Drexel University, World Live Café, YMCA Recreation Center, 2006 Youth Poetry Slam at the Free Library of Philadelphia (Semifinalist), etc. Although deployed to Iraq, Wisdom performed at the Memorial Hall Talent Show; as well as Talil Chapel Christmas Concert. Wisdom words are powerful, anointed, inspiring and life changing.


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    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 4 years ago from San Tan Valley

      Thanks so much for the comment and for following me. Much Love and Respect.

    • profile image

      Moesky 5 years ago

      Good to hear advice from someone who actually practises what he preaches. Very helpful and inspiring. I'm practising as I speak. And you just got yourself a new follower.

    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 5 years ago from San Tan Valley

      Thank you Crisp for the comment. I write and perform very hard to get better each day. Much Love and Respect

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I used to do that in elementary school but now no more. Keep up the good work. That is God's given talent for you. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 5 years ago from San Tan Valley

      Thank you Jahvonnie. Glad you enjoyed. Much love and respect.

    • Jahvonnie profile image

      Jahvonnie 5 years ago from NC

      i really liked this. Thanks for sharing

    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 5 years ago from San Tan Valley

      Thank you flashmakeit for the comment. A lot of people say they're not talented but with much practice you can become a great spoken word poet. The more you perform the more better you come. Much Love and Respect!

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      I thought this article was useful for someone who would like to perform as a spoken word poet. I am not talented enough to be a stage perform. I just watch and listen.

    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 5 years ago from San Tan Valley

      You are right vnsatakopan. Some things can't be taught but anyone can get better in this craft if they practice. Much Love and Respect

    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 5 years ago from San Tan Valley

      Thanks Anusujith for the comment. I want to hear some of the recitation in India. Much Love and Respect.

    • wisdom25 profile image

      Maurice Wisdom Bishop 5 years ago from San Tan Valley

      Once you push yourself to perform in front of the audience then all the butterflies in your stomach goes away. As many times I perform at big open mic venues I still get nervous. lol. Thanks for the comment and much love and respect!

    • vnsatakopan profile image

      Dr.Vangeepuram Navaneetham Satakopan 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Very interesting. Actually, these tips apply to everything. Talent is innate and some things cannot be taught.

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Recitation is an competitive event in India. While schooling we have listened it purposefully. Most probably we can visualize the event in mind from a beautiful recitation. good Hub...

    • LSKing profile image

      LSKing 5 years ago from East Coast United States

      Very nice! I wish I wasn't shy. I would love to do spoken word.