We all know what Murphy’s Law is: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Need a sunny day? Forget it – rain. Need to miss the morning traffic so you can get to work early? Well, you might have if you hadn’t spilled your coffee all over yourself. Murphy’s Law is like a gremlin hiding in the wings waiting for you to hope that something will go your way so it can stick its little foot out to trip you up.
The problem with Murphy’s Law is that even speaking about it almost like inviting it in. (Thank goodness my computer is still alive and allowing me to write this!) So instead of addressing it head on, people who step in front of audiences come up with all kinds of creative ways of keeping the ills of Murphy’s Law at bay. For some people, simply carrying the picture of someone special in their pocket is all it takes to keep them focused. Some carry good luck charms to ward off any “Murphy vibes” that might be hanging around. In the theater, people say “Break a leg” before a performance. Others step into the world of rituals and superstitions. Tennis player Rafa Nadal has a ritual he goes through between every single point of a match. Many performers, including Lady Gaga and Adele, have confessed to being physically ill before taking the stage. (This last one may sound really extreme, but hey, it’s better than being sick on stage.)
The challenge with Murphy’s Law is not letting it get into your head, because if it does, it can spark your speaker nerves into a full-blown attack of stage fright. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to combat Murphy’s Law. I’ve provided a link below that will take you to a great article that covers that. I’ve also attached a link to an article about stage fright. When you look through the lists within each article, you’ll see ideas that are on both. That’s because the only real difference between the two is that Murphy’s Law tends to refer to things outside of us, while stage fright refers to things inside of us.
The good news is that addressing both head-on is going to produce positive results for a speaker, whether it’s their 1st or 50th time in front of an audience
"May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far."
Happy St. Patty's Day,