Madonna is Nervous About Her Super Bowl Gig: Let’s Help Her Out!

She may strike a pose like no other, but Madonna is a nervous wreck about her half-time show during Sunday’s Super Bowl. In interview after interview this past week, she’s mentioned how “nervous” she is. You might be thinking, “poor Madonna.” Or “yeah, right.” Or, “who cares?”  Well,  I think that the very smart communicators who read the PR News blog should be offering some advice to the Queen of Pop.

If your client or senior executive were to express nervousness over an upcoming speaking gig, what would you advise? Granted, Madonna’s performance will be broadcast live before 100 million+ people worldwide, but it’s the quality of the audience not the quantity that matters. So your client speaking in front of 225 accountants at the Chicago Hilton just might be as important.  And unlike the Super Bowl audience, your audience would  not be semi-comatose after binging on hot wings and Budweiser. So, what’s your advice to Madonna, who has the jitters and is known to have panic attacks prior to performing?

I  might digress for a second to note that Madonna’s messaging the week before Super Bowl is outstanding PR – by saying she’s nervous, she’s taking some of the pressure off herself and lowering the bar of expectations.  She has even “mollifed” audiences worldwide by assuring them there won’t be a wardrobe malfunction a la Janet Jackson.  She clearly likes the word “nervous” in media interviews, invoking the same adjective when discussing her directorial debut of the movie “W.E.”

There’s a lot of advice out there on how to avoid stage fright, including from Elton John, who has recommended that Madonna just lip-synch for the big event.  This is where our professions diverge – imagine advising your senior executive to lip-synch her speech…..

Let’s help out Madonna.

– Diane Schwartz

On Twitter: @dianeschwartz

  • Rob Biesenbach

    I have my own recommendations for stage fright, but the best advice I’ve heard was from an audience member at a presentation I gave. Her day job was marketing/advertising but she was a singer/musician at night. She said a fellow performer told her to imagine everyone in the audience loves her.

    It sounds simplistic, but I think it’s great. Most people don’t come to a show or a concert or a speech to watch you fail. (Most people.) They want to be informed, enlightened, entertained. They’re actually pulling for you.

    Approach it from that positive mindset, treat it like a performance and give the people what they want.

  • Diane Schwartz

    Rob – great advice. Always good to imagine people love you!

  • Rob Biesenbach

    Thanks, Diane. I should also add that Madonna is surely full of it.

  • Carolynne Born

    But isn’t it common knowledge that Madonna did, in fact, lip sync the entire performance, except for Ce Low?