One of the first thing I teach my theatre students is how to properly applaud.  I don’t mean when to applaud during a live performance — I mean I teach them how to bring their hands together to make a proper and appropriate sound.  Righteous applause should should have the tart sound of exploding gun powder and the retort of a shotgun.

Proper applause should be loud enough to startle and strong enough to hurt your ears.

Too often, when people applaud, they just bring their hands together in a mushy meeting of palms that make no real sound.

Some people event fake applauding by only appearing to bring their hands together — but no sound is ever made.

If you can’t create an echo with your applause, then you aren’t using the right technique.

The Golf Clap started this dearth of proper audience response and the aftereffects in live performance have been quieting and disappointing.

Everyone has different hands, so finding the right “spank” in your palms to create the brightest and most-popping sound of applause can take some practice. 

When I provide an example of my clapping, students wither in their seats and some hold their ears because the sound is too loud and sharp. 

When I tell them part of their grade is based on their ability to properly applaud, they perk up, pay attention and take notes on just how to create the perfect applause that will satisfy performers and create a crashing crescendo of willful sound that can destroy walls and fell emperors in opposition. 


  1. I haven’t seen any good videos on how to applaud — but the trick is hard to master because it is so individualistic. Everyone is different. It takes one-on-one tutoring to make it happen. Some find success in flat palms. Others get the right sound with cupped palms. And so on…

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