Category Archives: Public Speaking Anxiety

The Power to Choose Your Response: How to Transform Public Speaking Anxiety and Create Desired Outcomes

E+R=O Photo by Leeloo Thefirst on

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a cycle of fear and anxiety when it comes to public speaking? Do you feel like no matter what you do, you always end up in the same place, feeling scared, overwhelmed, and unable to communicate effectively?

Well, it may be time to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective. Viktor E. Frankl, the renowned psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, once said “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

What Frankl was referring to is the idea that, between any event in our lives (such as public speaking) and our response to it, lies an opportunity to choose how we react. This space between stimulus and response allows us to implement strategies to prevent being overwhelmed and communicate more effectively.

The idea is further explored by Jack Canfield in his book ‘The Success Principles’, where he talks about E+R=O (Event + Response = Outcome)’. His basic premise is that every outcome you experience in life (whether it’s success or failure, wealth or poverty, health or illness, intimacy or estrangement, joy, or frustration) is the result of how you have responded to an earlier event or events in your life.

If you don’t like the outcomes you’re currently getting, you have two options: either blame the event (E) for your lack of results (O) or change your response (R) to the event (E).

By understanding this concept, you can begin to make a conscious choice about how you respond to events in your life, such as public speaking. Instead of automatically reverting to fear and anxiety, you can take a step back and think about what your best response would be in each situation in order to achieve the outcome you want.

You may find it helpful to practice different responses in your head before going into a public speaking situation. Visualise how you want to come across, focus on the positive outcomes you want to achieve and practice the actions and words you’ll use to get there.

Ultimately, the goal is to cultivate a sense of power and control over events and circumstances in your life. By understanding the concept of ‘E + R = O’, you can take the first steps towards achieving this.

How to Deliver your Presentation and Crush your Fears at the Same Time

There are three types of pauses:  silent pauses (no sound), filled pause (filled with ums ahs etc), and breath pauses. Consider consciously taking a diaphragmatic breath, so that’s its not really obvious, at key points in your presentation, such as when you change slides. In addition to giving time for your audiences to think and you time to think it can have positive effect on public speaking anxiety (Kimani, Shamekhi & Bickmore 2021). We also know that this type of breathing can be effective in helping us to think more clearly even if anxiety is not present.

Kimani, E, Shamekhi, A & Bickmore, T 2021, ‘Just breathe: Towards real-time intervention for public speaking anxiety’, Smart Health, vol. 19, 2021/03/01/, p. 100146.