In this week’s podcast I discuss how you can use suspense in creating a flair bartending routine for competitions to draw your crowd in and make them more emotionally invested in your performance.

Following the Masters of Flair bartending competition where I won Best in the Midlands, I identified a few reasons behind the success, as well as the areas I can easily adjust to improve my score.

My flair bartending routine was very much based around the bottle and tin combo with a few extras mixed in which we’ll come to later. I should be able to increase my score substantially by incorporating more of the moves I can already perform with multiple objects, though this entry was quite last minute and not really prepared for as I would like.

On the plus side, as usual I had very few drops and the judges commented on the smoothness of my performance. I think I had 2 drops in the routine, plus one after the end of the time which I don’t think counts in a 6 minute routine plus the big ass move segment. That its pretty rare, even at the highest level.

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Admittedly, at the highest level the moves are far more challenging, but the point is that you should be flairing within your ability. Working the bar last night I was flairing for five hours.

Total drops? Two. In five hours.

If you’re dropping bottles and tins all the time on shift, you’re trying to do stuff you’re not ready to do behind the bar and you’re making flair bartenders look bad as a group. The bar is not the place to be learning new moves, that should be done in your own time and your own space.

Why should Flair Bartending competitions be any different?

Then we move on to the subject of tension – you can draw in your audience by adding tension, as I did at Masters of Flair at a few points – the Martini glass balance on the forehead, blindfold flair and throwing full drinks over my shoulder.

These points where it could all go horribly wrong are just the thing to engage your audience, in the same way you can’t take your eyes off the TV when a formula one car is flying through the air towards a tyre wall or the police intercepters are chasing down the bad guys – you HAVE to know how it turns out!

Links in this week’s Podcast

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