David Santistevan

How To Handle Auditions When You Have To Say “No”

I love this article: David Santistevan hits it out of the park:

It started out with an email and ended in heartbreak.

You know what I’m talking about. A beautiful soul with total confidence wants to join your worship team as a vocalist. The only problem is, they can’t sing.

And it’s not always that they cannot sing. It may be that their vocal tone just isn’t of a pleasing quality. In this case, there was no sense of pitch.

I was really hoping they were amazing so I could smile, affirm them, and offer them a spot on our worship team.

But I couldn’t do that. I had to be honest. Right there at the audition.

And this person left mad. In their mind, they were the cat’s pajamas of church vocalists.

If you’re a worship leader, you’ve been in this situation. If you haven’t, expect to in the near future. How do you handle a conversation like this? What is the best way to speak the truth without breaking hearts?

The truth is, you will never avoid offending people but your kindness and up-front honesty will create the best possible situation.

It’s my opinion that I need to be honest with musicians and singers right away. And I can usually tell if a musician is

A) Ready to play

B) Not ready but could improve

C) Not ready and couldn’t improve

That’s the goal of an assessment. You probably already know the answer when you first hear them, so there’s no need to “get back to them” or “pray about it” or “let them know” this week. You just need to tell them. But “how” you do that makes all the difference.

6 Tips For Better Auditions: Here’s my best advice. It includes some action steps you should take pre-assessment and also some tips for how to handle the assessment on the spot.

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