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Heroic Public Speaking

Lesson 12 of 23

Becoming an Aware Performer

Michael Port, Amy Port

Heroic Public Speaking

Michael Port, Amy Port

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Lesson Info

12. Becoming an Aware Performer

Lesson Info

Becoming an Aware Performer

So michael has touched on this, but I want to be very clear the think big revolution is entirely scripted word for word not all speeches air like that but he scripted it he memorized every word and then we slashed about eighty percent of it and he re scripted and memorized every word and we went through that process a number of times now not all speeches are like that you may have a very clear outline of your speech and what you're going to cover. One of the things that a scripted speech gives you is the ability to teo bring more poetry in because often it's the language ing that that is beautiful that is so effective that may not just naturally flow out of you doesn't flow out of my mouth anyway, but but it may not naturally flow out of your mouth and that can be incredibly effective I see a lot personally I see a lot of message speeches that I think do very very well by being scripted I'm going to come back to jill bolte taylor if you haven't seen it, you should see it and it watch o...

r you can tell she has rehearsed that puppy inside and out she knows every word of it and the moon where she is on the stage the blocking what she's doing with her voice she creates different worlds within that speech that's different from say book yourself solid where he knows the material inside and out. He will use the same phrases again and again. He's not gonna change up the red velvet rope policy and call it the red protection cord or something like that, right? He uses the same language again and again, he has the same content, but it's not scripted word for word because that content doesn't demand it in the same way. Does this make sense? Say, yes, it does. Uh, okay, so we move on now you're in is yes, I was going to say something quite profound. While you're thinking of it, you come back. Do you have a question, david? Not really a question, but another contrast that I noticed you've got deep set eyes and a lot of times in that in that presentation, when you were hitting a certain note on your head, comes down your eyes going to a dark place. Yeah, and then they come up and they're filled with light and it's just living. This is actually something that I think about. It is not an accident. I was wondering, I know because I look a little cro magnum that my eyes were very far back in my head. So in certain light I don't know if it's here but in a certain light you guys are lower than me so you can see but if you're if you're in the same level and the light is hitting me here I look like a raccoon this is something I had to contend with all the time on dh when I do any kind of video work when I was in the movies, the cinematographer should go every time because it's a pain in the neck you gotta figure out a like this guy from the bottom. So yes, so I will I'm aware of that as much as I can I'm not always, but if I do this all of a sudden it's gone or you know but then this you see a little bit more so it is something to think about and you start to learn how you're the light bounces off your face, what your hair does, how it influences the angles that you can use. You know, doing this like throw a whole speech is probably going to start to be problematic and it's interesting because sometimes performers get the get the bad rap of being vain or something like that, you know, it's something that came up today where we had more of my hair down and it was here and I was just aware that it was going to affect the angles that I was seen in or not and that isn't about it's not about vanity you know it's not about that it can be about vanity for people but as a performer you will become more and more aware especially you can see yourself on video of uh of what works what helps you communicate so but I was going to mention before so I remembered it and often more often than not you'll remember what you were going to say if you just stop and go I'll remember in a minute then you come back to and you will was going to say here is any mention that this was scripted two weeks before it was to be the first time that I've ever given it this video is actually from the first time that I ever gave it I did it for a small audience to test it to preview and I had done a number of those throughout the process and as I was doing it I knew it wasn't working it wasn't working yeah, you get to the point where if you've done it often enough you can usually tell when it's not working and afterwards I went I got I got I gotta rewrite this I rewrote eighty percent two weeks before I was to go on and remember this is a speech that I knew I would do completely memorized one hundred percent so it's not just I need to know the words I need to know all the tech pieces because not only are you the writer and the director and the performer, but you're also the stage manager tied two weeks. I rewrote that eighty percent in about four hours, it finally clicked, it finally clicked. Amy said something to me that made the transition from the from the conflict into the resolution click it just made sense and and I took a week to memorize it and then a week to rehearse what I'd written and I did it, and I think like one or two lines, I dropped, but no one in the audience would ever know, so you could do a lot more lot more quickly than you might think if you put in those hours and you get better at rehearsal, you get used to it, and I'm not a fast memorize er I'm not I don't have a photographer photographic memory I'm completely dyslexic could barely remember my math tables. I mean, it's, not something that comes naturally to me, but it's gotta feel like you've never been said before because they feel like you're going through the paces and you're phoning it in the expression they're not going to connect so needs you need to know it so well that you forget it. And then it comes to you in the moment uh get the mic elizabeth she needs the mic pastor the mike who's got the mike passing my pass in the night passes the mike pass the mic please ah ah alright I feel like I should know this and maybe I do know this but I don't know if I know what I want basket, which is can you talk about memorizing about that process of memorizing about you in the shower saying it over and over while you're driving like what? What are you doing? Thanks people do it differently depending on their particular learning styles for me I often walk I need to move while I'm trying to memorize in order to get it in my body because you can see I'm very physical, so that helps me a lot so I'll do small chunks at a time, but I will make sure toe work on the transition from one section to another foreign beat to another and we will work on beats in our future techniques and second six so the physical movement sometimes all sit on the exercise bicycle and not do a hard workout just you know and have my material right there and say it and do it and say don't do it so the walking helps often in the car but you have to be at the point where you're pretty much off book off book means you don't have to have the script you have to read off it when you're in the car or else that could be dangerous I actually find that the guard works really well in another way, which is that if you're familiar with it and you're driving, you can't look at it so often I'll find myself talking around until I got oh that's what it is and so I'll go on I get to have that experience of going I know more of this than I thought I did and then it all seems tto land and I'll get clarity on this little section I don't know or that little section I don't know the physical movement does something else I see with a lot of people when they sit and try to memorize like this okay blah bitty blah bitty blah blah blah and here's the line now here's the line now it will land in certain vocal patterns for a lack of movement. And so then as you're trying to play in rehearsal or maybe you're working with a coach or a director and they'll be giving you something else to work with, it will still come out of your mouth the exact same way because that's how you memorized it if you in memorizing memorize it saying it or hearing it the exact same way every time it becomes very difficult for your performance to evolve so if you could memorize it while you're moving, then your body's having a different experience you're also attempting to memorize for wrote so that so that you know what the material is, but each time you present it, it may be different because you're in the moment you're not anticipating you're in the moment now, of course, the performer needs to be five steps ahead, like the chess player needs to know what's going on around you all the time but still be in the moment. That's that's when you get to the point where you feel like you're in the room, it's quite extraordinary feeling another thing to do for memorizing is to write it and say it, write it and say so if this is your script and you know the first you know things has created winning combination of scripting, but about create the winning combination of scripting write that line ten times and then right in the next one ten times I found that works very, very well for me because I'm putting it here, I'm putting it in my voice and I'm getting it in my mind and the repetition helps in the same way, saying it out loud, not just reading and thinking in your head that you want the muscle memory of the mouth you want to be used to hearing yourself say it you're getting it in another way when you write it there all of these different ways that we take in and soto hit as many of those as possible it's helpful. I wanna make sure that people are writing in any questions that they have about this way actually had one quick follow up question. At what point do you acknowledge that you have rehearsed enough and you feel prepared to launch that presentation's there like an ah ha moment there is absolutely it's the date that you have to perform that it's true no that's the way it works, so the length of time you have to do something is the length of time it takes to do something. So when when I only had two weeks that's what I had and it had to get done there wasn't a choice. I it was the first time in a long time where I actually I seriously considered how I was going to get out of doing it. I thought I could well, I could show them a working rehearsal. I could go up by direct him as he was doing it and then I went, I cant do that that's that's what? I can't do that I gotta do it I said I was gonna do it, I gotta do it that's the point yes, please stand up okay, they're more this is going back a little bit on owning the room but I noticed you did this exercise and you had people instagramming and everything and I have done exercises when I speak how do you get people back quickly? Your great great I actually didn't I I didn't have them instagram I don't I don't do a lot of of listen to me talking about tell all your friends I don't do that that's not my thing I generally want you to be in the room unless you're here to specifically blogged or instagram or tweet that's why you're here that's def but if you're here for you but you spend your whole time tweeting about what you're learning, you're not in the moment so I generally discourage people from doing that. I know it's not a great marketing thing, but I'm not so interested in that I'm interested in the people in the room and of course at home on the camera that's not what we're here to do now I have another good friend who I saw a video that he did and he had about a hundred people in the room and he had a twenty minute speech it's a text speech and he did this great little exercise at the beginning for a way for people to connect with each other and get to know each other but he didn't tell them how it was gonna end so he did and also make four hundred something people talking, talking, talking, talking about this hey guys, come on back nothing guys come on back nothing guys I only have twenty minutes come on you got mad but he's the nicest guy in the world but he got frustrated because he didn't know what to do so here's what I often do and it works every time I really literally khun say every time another thing I suggest we stay away from her absolutes I mean should I say in this moment? Of course because in this town I can say for me it has worked every time but absolutes is what allows people full of holes if I say everybody does that steam go? No, I don't do that or not at all my sister doesn't do that way we can an absolute this is always the way it is. Everybody thinks this everybody does this it's always like this. All generalities are false, including that one so we use it seems that often people are you often find if you notice me using those words throughout our segments often it's like this it seems like it's like this many times you will find this because if I said you could never get anybody back if you do it that way well that's probably not true now I know that there are people who are in the cell phone business help world who who thrive in this idea that you are supposed to say everything you you're supposed to you're supposed to suggest that everything you say is one hundred percent I mean that's the self help business help world say this is the way you do it but that eye does can I can't live with that because it can't fly because it's not true and we want truth to be the reigning king in the room so that's that now the question that you actually asked so here's what I do I say we're gonna do an exercise and this is how it's going to go now before you start I wanna make sure we know how we're getting back because there's a lot of you here and even get you back quickly and quietly so here's what's gonna happen at the end of this experience time in when I do it here I say the end of three minutes the music is gonna go off and you're going to see me with my hand raised that's the signal for you to raise your hand immediately stopped talking and immediately sit down and if you see someone else's hand raised same thing immediately stopped talking and immediately sit down works every time and guess what this is all you have to do to own the room that's it everybody stopped since back down let's go now here I don't need to do that because this particular environment is different you know your role as an audience member here because you've been prepped, you know that you're not supposed to just get up and do whatever you want there's cameras here there's certain ground rules constraints etcetera so I don't need to worry about that so much here and it's also very small room but I've done this with thousands of people in a room were doing thousands of people and they come back even if you didn't see even if you forgot to set it up and you just went like this, it'll take longer but eventually they'll come back because they all went to kindergarten. Now check this out so I have this speech coming up this week and one of them is this fifteen minute speech and there's something I'm gonna have to do with the end it's really exciting very physical everybody be up on the feet and it is it finishes one minute before the end of the speech so it finishes at nineteen minutes this is all choreographed so instead of telling him to sit down I'll just say stand exactly where you are you see my hand raise it immediately stop talking stay exactly where you are but stay standing ok then I do my thirty second forty five seconds clothes thank you very much and I get a standing ovation so I always say I can guarantee a standing ovation for any speech you ever give figure out a way to get them standing right before you finished thank you very much there standing you're standing over you raise your hand if you get evaluations sometimes when you give presentations here's a way to increase the score you get on your evaluations at the appropriate point you say so there's gonna be an evaluation at the end and the evaluation is out of ten now you're a ten out of ten audience one hundred percent I want to be a ten out of ten presented for you so here's what we're gonna do maybe you're right an eight right now maybe your ten already that's great, but let's just say you're in there you don't go lower than a let's say you're on the free, she let's say you're out about in a day or so what's the thing that you want to hear from me that will get you to attend and I am asking you to ask me that question and if you don't ask me that question, you still got to give me a ten because I'm here to answer that question you do with charm and grace and and then they asked her questions you've given the answer, they gotta give you a ten because yeah you see how likability works? I mean I don't say that to be funny no, but the reason I smile is because if I don't I look like a serial killer it's goofy or like I'm going to kill you all right let's start that mixed with I think it might actually be a really good time to go and see if there are questions from questions here. Questions from the at home audience wei had an interesting one come in from one of our users in the chat room who just wants to know what is the worst recent public speaking experience that you both have had why I'll tell you what I bombed one speech and when I say bon who was a bomb like a complete bomb like people were walking out bob it was on a two thousand nine so five years ago I had tried to do the thinking revolution speech that was when I first tried it but I wasn't prepared I was trying to do something very, very different but I wasn't ready to do it and I was taking a lot of my uh choose off my computer screen and I try to do it like a sort of a political rally type speech behind a podium and you never want to go by on a podium but this was something that I was going to try to break the rule and do something very different it did not work at all, and primarily because it just wasn't ready. And you know what? That's, when I put the thing with revolutions, speech to bed and I didn't bring it back until this year. That's how painful that experience wass that's how bad it wass, you know, I've had other ones like I gave a speech once this wasn't bad is just a little hard to follow, like I gave a speech once for at home, like a novel, like a adult novelty product company, you know? And I gave him the god that run before he was teaching something, and the slide that he had up on the screen was a massive purple dildo, and I had to follow this on and every and it was all women, it was all women, distributors, all women and literally every other word out of my mouth they took as a sexual innuendo so I could barely get through the speech without who catcalls and hoots and hollers because I was talking about I was talking about this idea that look, there's, all these opportunities out there, it's like there's balls all over and I did is a million times, but I never thought twice about it just like balls everywhere, and they start laughing, I go on, man. This I got to get through this quickly, so basically, I see them all. I see all these opportunities, you may not see all the balls that are around you yet, but what you gotta do, you start to see them and when you do go on, grab them ways like father, I got into it, I was going down the rabbit hole worse and worse and worse. I mean, it was just it was just so that was just difficult way stories. Not nearly as good as that. I think we should nobody can express. All right, let's. See, we have a couple more here now. People are curious about these short presentations. A lot of people have to give very short concrete presentations here. Now, this question says, what about if you only have a three minute presentation of promotional speech? Any tips on how to condense everything down and still make it as compelling use? Use a three act structure and its reacts khun b in three minutes doesn't need to be doesn't mean one minute, one act one minute too. It doesn't mean that, but essentially you're introducing the situation. Here is the conflict here's the resolution that's what you're doing any time you pitch an idea to somebody there considering three things number one is this going to be successful is gonna work doesn't make sense if the answer is no they stopped listening if the answer is yes then they go well is this relevant to me during my time my resource is et cetera the answer is no they stop listening. The answer is yes, they continue and the next thing they want to know is can this person actually do what they say they were going to dio can they champion this? Can they make this happen if the answer's no that's it's not gonna happen but if you say yes to all three you're good to go, so you need to cover those three basis especially if you have something that's that short here's the situation here is the conflict is the problem here is how we can resolve it and this is where the world could look like could look if we if we resolve it that way. So when you give these short of presentations fifteen minutes ten minutes twenty minutes you're generally focusing on one big idea and that time is used to support that one big idea when I go give this presentation that's fifteen minutes I'm actually gonna do two ideas two ideas but I have actually no answer I have twenty minutes for it hope twenty is twenty twenty yes it's twenty is twenty so have twenty minutes and in twenty minutes I could do these two ideas fully but I can bring them by the end together so you get why the two ideas are so important and how they interact with each other for the for the resolution for the conclusion so generally one idea okay we only have a couple more minutes before we have to wrap up today so no more clips normal clips so what here's what I want to do the biggest takeaways for you from the day because we did a lot today we started with the principles of performance and let me see it before you do this one of the principles of performance what's one of them shouted out listen take risks in the moment stay in the moment yes yes please with people who have your back choose early often when you're in fear look someone in the eye let's see how good you are these write that down good. And then of course we worked into your voice and your speech and you started to see your voice is opening up and you saw the potential that you have and then the big idea and a big promise the soaring had told you that you've got a big idea or you you have the beginnings of a big idea it just needs a little bit more love and then who? Contrast yeah. Craft captivating beteen craft captain actually easy if you put the crafting captivating speeches is easier than in craft captivating speeches and now we look at all this contrast delivery contrast emotional contrast, structural contrast and a million other tips in between the way a ll throughout. So what are the biggest takeaways from you? I want to hear from people at home is very, very important to me that I hear from the people at home and also when I hear from you guys in the room so those of you who are miked up let's start first those who are not mike make sure you have the mike s so it's at the ready you know where you are who's in the front stand up what's your big one. Yes markets I think my my big one is the different types of contrast and I think it was great to be able to see those examples and put them in perspective. But the different types of excellent great good, I think just learning how important it is to move and stretch into a love that before you go on so hugely powerful, excellent, great, great so I think it was the setting the ground rules with the audience that this is the way the world is now and this is the way it could be great excellent who's the voice and hearing how much my first stocked first first first I was like wow that's embarrassing to come out bigger next great great excellent for me it was the whole concept of the big idea and the promise putting everything that I do and think and em into that structure really helped me to look at it from a whole different perspective and get a lot clearer and go deeper on and right excellent nicely said yes three act structure really helped me because I'm working on my keynote and I've been having problems trying to put it together and I think I've been using the wrong framework so I just need to flip it nice excellent yes well I really appreciated the many ways that I experienced and witnessed the way each of you connect you know, not just teaching from up here but in more spirit away I really like cool yeah because we're the same you know it's very important that when you speak if there's people in the audience that you think you know have a higher status or something or or you meet people that you think have some high status they may be a couple pages ahead of you in the book of business you know, maybe I gave more speeches but we're the same we have people with the same that's it just a couple of pages ahead in the book of business maybe that's a couple more speeches but everything else were the same and if you recognize that the people you're serving are just like you they're the same human beings on the same level it's a lot easier to connect so thank you for recognized that david appreciate that good yes yes we stand up so first knowing rules and then taking risks to break them yes good for me owning the stage and the way that you move on the stage but most important importantly for me is the pausing and captivating from the pause great nicely nicely done so good for me one of the things I got is it's not just about giving a presentation it's really about crafting and a presentation and experience you did not get that ah ah that's a big ah ha! So that's why that might it's not it's not about giving the presentation's about crafting the presentation so by the time you give the presentation it's kind of easy it's fun the work is done in rehearsal that's where the work is done yes, I didn't understand the concept of showing instead of telling I got it I got it show instead of towel yeah great like mike for me the ha moment was keeping control of the audience and not accepting it when they weren't paying attention and actually as a photographer relates a lot back to like problem areas like family formals and it gave me a lot of ideas of how I could even relate that back teo grand so can we have some people from home we have people said the contrast was their big takeaway tory says that making the connection helps the presenter as much as the audience calistoga say's calistoga k says that yes the frameworks have been great information and step from tucson says my biggest takeaway is more than what was said I am inspired and seeing michael and amy speak the way they command the room and how well they present their information I could not turn this off oh, wait give everybody a little bit of homework you're not obligated to do it this is an opt in society not obligated to do this but if you still need a little work on your big idea tonight's a great night to spend half our sit on it meditate on it think about a journal about it if your big idea and a big promise feels pretty secure well maybe now you pick your framework and you start just to simply outline based on that framework that's it and so the same thing at home if you need to work on your big idea in your big promise that's what you do tonight if you have your big promise if you have your big idea solid then pick a framework and start to outline that framework

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

A memorable speaking engagement can transform a career – learn how to tell stories that stir up emotion and move listeners to the edge of their seats. Join Michael Port and Amy Port for the most engaging public speaking course you’ll ever encounter, Heroic Public Speaking.

Public speaking is notoriously difficult, but working professionals can rarely avoid it. Whether it's selling your work to a potential client, presenting a deck to collaborators, or giving a talk in front of a large audience, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll have to speak in front of others – learn how to do it well. In this Heroic Public Speaking course, Michael and Amy will teach you a system for engaging, persuading, and inspiring your audience, no matter the size.

In this class, Michael and Amy will help you craft a presentation that feels like a performance instead of speech. You’ll learn techniques for structuring a compelling presentation with tips on incorporating cliff-hangers, using humor to engage listeners, and constructing stories that tell a coherent story. You’ll also learn how the pros handle pre-show nerves and respond to the audience in real-time.

If you want to impress and inspire your audience, no matter the size, join Michael and Amy for their complete guide to turning your public speaking gig into a performance.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Developing Your Big Idea - A Self Guided Worksheet

Guide to Making World Saving Speeches - 25 more tips


Practice Script 1

Practice Script 2

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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What a great class! An incredible amount of content shared in a fun, engaging way. Michael Port is a gift. I attended his Book Yourself Solid Immersion via telecourse and was impressed. However, seeing him on video adds layers of instruction that will benefit me not only in public speaking, but in other aspects of my business and life as well. Amy Mead really lazers in on specific improvements that get big results. Thanks to all for an outstanding class.


Wow.. When I first stumbled across Michaels videos I thought “this guy is almost TOO good.” The free information was so helpful that I rationalized with myself that I didn't have to sign up for the course, at least not right away. Eventually after my procrastination period I bought the class and was pleasantly reassured of my purchase. The content inside was just as valuable and fun! Not only that, watching the transformations of the students as they practiced their speeches was simply amazing. Michael and Amy work great with each other and have put together a top notch experience with Heroic Public Speaking.

Karen Lynn Ingalls

This course is GREAT! From the basics of using your body and voice, giving you a foundation for your speaking, to getting your big idea, creating a framework for your speech, structuring the speech, to delivery, you'll get an amazing amount of learning that will help you become a great public speaker. My kudos to Michael Port and Amy Mead for teaching an excellent course, and my thanks to Creative Live for presenting it!