Skip to main content

Heroic Public Speaking

Lesson 20 of 23

Masterclass: Coaching Linda

Michael Port, Amy Port

Heroic Public Speaking

Michael Port, Amy Port

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

20. Masterclass: Coaching Linda

Lesson Info

Masterclass: Coaching Linda

This is what's called making a very dramatic moment this's a pregnant pause is what it's called that's actually how you make that out that's what it is a really big pause it's a pregnant pause come on up come on up eyes your audience well, I'm shifting audiences normally would be my students but for right now it's going to be people who liked listen to short stories oh, now I'm feeling sort of nasal from all the laughing and all the crying from being a part of my nasal absolutely way like nasal yeah okay so short we're changing pace your short story I was on a rooftop in katmandu in the middle of the nineteen nineties nobody else on the rooftop the himalayas were magical they were vibrating there was vibrating now that might have been pollution I don't know but I think they were vital braiding because they have energy it was really quiet I was telling this warm, wonderful himalayan thing and all of a sudden dogs started barking hundreds and hundreds of dogs were barking all over the ci...

ty I was up on the fourth floor so there were dogs everywhere barking, barking, barking, barking, barking ow! Okay, so we're starting with a story which is beautiful and one of the things that we want to see what the story is is that there's a dr forward yeah that you know where you're going you know what the point that you're getting too is and everything is moving you forward toward their does that make sense? Yes. Okay so a couple of things I want to suggest to help you do that one is really see it you know you can you can paint this picture for us if you're seeing the mountains put them out there help us see the mountains we will see it if you see it if you hear the dogs barking you don't need to signal no like that but give yourself that experience of hearing the dogs barking this is very descriptive yeah so so help us to see and feel and smell and have all of those same visceral things we also want the story to be very specific uh at one point you throughout you threw out the words I don't know oh, okay so avoid that I don't know yes make make the details specific so that we can see them okay, take it from the beginning. Okay. One day in the middle of the nineteen nineties I was on a rooftop katmandu very peaceful watching the himalayas in the distance they were vibrating I could feel the energy now that might have been pollution in the air I could feel the vibrating of the of the mountain's coming into me is very exciting but calm at the same time okay, so stop again because here's this interesting thing you're saying anywhere in katmandu which is not a throwaway agreed if you're saying what was your first sentence again I was in the middle of it in the middle of the nineteen ninety middle of the nineteen nineties I was on a rooftop in katmandu that's what you're driving toward in that sentence rather than in the middle of the nineteen nineties I was on a rooftop our cat ment of you and you may even want to address what you're doing there right now you're also talking about something highly energetic for you now remember that there are going to be people in the audience in all likelihood who poke holes right on what you're talking about is something that for you is very special um not unique but there will be people who will say you felt the mountain vibrating right and so you may want to give them a little bit of like just stay with me a minute I actually felt the mountain vibrating have you ever been in the presence of something so huge something in the natural world maybe the redwoods maybe you know that you could feel the that kind of presence in you in a different way in that way you might be able to invite them invite them or into the story does this make sense for you are giving it a try? Okay one day in the middle of the nineteen nineties I was on a rooftop in katmandu I was leaning on a ledge looking at the himalayas in the distance they were so powerful that I could feel their energy it was like some person you really love right in front of you walks into the room and you get this energy it was that powerful have you had that experience? You may want to put it in a question form to them have you had that experience that yeah have you felt that yes to a question for matt you have to decide before you ask the questions rhetorical or is it rhetorical? We're looking for a response and they'll respond to you because this is a warm audience they're your friends right? Right in the beginning of a speech if you ask them, have you ever felt that on a question about something vibrating, you know, like a person or a mountain or something? And I go, I'm not I'm not so sure actually. So um so you might say you might you can you can bring it down a little you can say you can act, you might be able to ask a question, have you ever felt something physically powerful in your body? Have you you know that kind of thing because many people have had a physical feeling of power some kind but again you have to decide whether or not you want them to say yes so you say don't answer but it's what you two think about something have you ever this or is it possible that you have ever so you're creating space for it as opposed to a yes or no when is it possible then they go wounds possible see they can't just say no right away if you think about a time when yeah you can I think it's risky in the very beginning think about a time asking the question unless you know they're going to say yes yeah it's like if I said have you ever stepped in dog poop that's pretty much a yes, some point those kinds of questions are easier to answer then have you ever felt the presence of an almighty god that's a harder question teo teo answer for many people some people could say absolutely something blue uh no way others like I really know mean, I felt something once, but then I realized they had food from the you know what I'm saying? So that's the only risk you run, but I really was very impressed with the notes that I gave you were great didn't she have a much clearer picture of the story which that allowed you to actually have a picture see what we're doing is actually seeing what we're talking about that's what we're doing when we're performing if I talk about the beach right now I'm seeing the beach in my mind and that helps you see it too now you and I might see different beaches in our mind but we're seeing so if I look out there and I look at the beach it does something to my face you saw that just a tiny little thought so when you're telling the story you need to see those mountains and we need to see that in you because the risk that you run is it all being calm and mellow and all good it actually was all common calm and mellow but I understand not presenting that storytelling perspective, right? Yeah and when you get to the common mellow it's a that's the kind of moment we're looking for but we got to get there yeah otherwise it's just you see if you feel that mean just standing here yeah, so let's be excited about this because when you said it was exciting and something else was the line, it was exciting and and what exciting calm sounded exactly the same to me uh say uh it was like it was exciting and calm if I wasn't from if I didnt speak english, I wouldn't know which was exciting, which was coming, but I didn't speak english and and and I said it was exciting and calm even if you didn't speak english you have a sense of what I was saying ok so we've got to get excited about it this is the second time we're seeing this this need of this excitement needs to come into the story that you're telling me you can't not tell this story okay okay there was a day in nineteen ninety six when I was in katmandu I was standing on a rooftop looking at the himalayas in the distance amazing snowcapped beautiful majestic full of energy I could feel coming into me and peaceful at the same time it was very quiet all of a sudden dogs started barking good so do you see a difference big difference now here's what we do and it was very quiet be all of a sudden we gotta need a shift in energy we need a different tone we need a different pacing we need a different volume level because it breaks the silence could we try that? Okay from the end when you get into a conflict come everything was peaceful and calm and then all of a sudden there were dogs barking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dogs in the city down below I was on the fourth floor above the fourth floor they were everywhere dogs barking but it was so strange because they're better yes so now that's drive through it because we get the dogs barking until actually pretty quickly and if it's like hundreds and hundreds and then lots and lots of and then look more dogs it's more description than we need in a at the same time in a way that puts a lot of emphasis remembers that when some stories some points or more important than others and stories so it was like in the beginning it was that there were dogs barking hundreds and hundreds of them all over the street dogs here dogs they're dogs everywhere you see then you have another beat yeah, right, right so you drive through that because we get it but we want to feel it go up dogs your dogs they're dogs everywhere and then it's the next I'm not suggesting you say dogs teo dog so it was quiet and calm all of a sudden there were dogs barking everywhere it was loud, very loud, loud, loud, loud, loud it was extremely loud, it was very loud wowed everybody at home I could hear them, but then they stopped once again I was peaceful, I was leaning on the wall there and something happened. Bush I left my body, I didn't realize I left my body until I came back into my body and thought, but well, I just left my body seriously my very next stop after coming back and realizing I'd left my body was about the third grade class we had on geography gigantic math on the wall the teacher was pointing out continents and bodies of water all this stuff and I pointed to this label and said, how do you say that name? Katmandu she said and I knew then my eight year old self knew then that I would be here in katmandu someday for this experience I realized when I went away and came back whatever my spirit was doing cavorting out there in the stratosphere I don't know what happened that's the reason I wanted to be there in the third grade I knew this was gonna happen good so when we talk about this this um left the body thing I like how you do it throw away about it I don't know what was going on something is going on, but if you do that too much, then it it plays down the importance of the significance of like the end here you know? She said, I know whatever it was doing all of a sudden it wasn't really a big deal, but if you have one or two lines that air that are throwaways but our cute like, you know, I don't know what I was doing you maybe it's comporting cavorting with george clooney out and I don't know, you know, sort of over that yeah, so something like that will get a little laugh and it will lighten up this sort of intense idea of leaving your body which if somebody is not one hundred percent with you on they'll bill say ok, I'll overlook I won't pull holes because that was cute she made lighter yeah it was a really yeah so you you were very good at structuring stories this is what you do I imagine a lot yes yes yes so you have this structure there's it's good the I think it's the energy that we need to work on and it's the finding more contrast that's going to be the king we've got to get you here and then back to here and then over there and over here even if you stand in one place so you see how you can stand in one place and deliver a story sixty minutes in one place maybe. Maybe not, but if it's that compelling what you're saying is that compelling you could stand in one place for sixty minutes. Well, I've got just like widebody truck here that has a hard time movie. Sure, I like your buddy. You know I have a different guy you know is that's right? So we all find our own style and that's what's really important and I imagine as I get older I will probably start moving less I mean that makes sense people who are older tend to move around slower than people who are younger so someone wouldn't expect youto run around the stage do cartwheel few flips but I really I wonder what it would take for you to go farther so when you say loud you say loud and then when you come back it's back you could do all of it right here it could be this small and still the incredibly exciting but more vocal variance more range or playing with the pacing and the timing so let's get back to the beginning and let's do this let's do go let's go farther than you think you should go with these extremes go farther than you think you should go because it's rehearsal you're not performing it for anybody and then go a little bit farther than that. I had a friend when I was in college when he ordered his hero sandwich and a hoagie hero he would say put so much mayonnaise on it that you think you've ruined it and then put mohr that's what? I want you to be more mayo nayo please the last thing I need okay? Huh um it's good to start with that playfulness is that doesn't have to be serious. Okay, yeah, it was great I was incoming d'oh no. One day in the nineteen nineties I was in katmandu sitting standing no not sitting, standing on a rooftop leaning on this ledge, taking in the himalayas so powerful they were they were vibrating I could sense the vibration coming into my body more mayo no more maybe I could sense the vibration coming into my body shaking shaking almost I wass from the vibration of the himalayas and then it got very quiet and then dogs started barking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dogs in the city were barking it was very strange then they stopped and in that piece full moment I left my body bush I was gone I didn't realize I had left my body till I came back into my body and I thought oh well I just left my body it was the very next thought I had was from my third grade class when I was eight years old our geography lesson gigantic math on the wall we're gonna take this another step further do you have grandchildren okay uh what's the youngest age kid you've ever taught uh no kids you don't teach kids adults what where I got that okay, I would like you to imagine that we are a group of kindergartners okay? I can't imagine that way and you are telling this story to us and we are a little unruly so we're keeping you're going to keep their attention with the magical story give it a world like that okay think and remember variants sometimes you whisper sometimes you shot at them sometimes you you know it all okay so when I came back into my body go from the beginning from the beginning from the gardener's here so everybody lean in like you're like a kid I was on a rooftop in katmandu leaning on the ledge who going like that looking at the himalayas in the distance so powerful they were vibrating himalayas over here so we can see that not over there okay okay you can do it you can you can if you use just use your eyes will watch us I was looking at the himalayas you seeing your butt if you pointed over there they don't see it uh okay so if you say you can go like this I was looking at the himalayas in the distance you could do this so that they can see it you are just seeing as you're telling of it but if you point at it then they don't see it yeah I use my hands to you I know you you're still a part of male more okay imagine you're working in the deli and I'm the customer wants more male and I keep coming back just a whole matter relating come on all right so looking at the himalayas so far away but so powerful I could feel them vibrating coming into my body I could feel my body vibrating from the strength of these spirits or mountains it was really quiet all of a sudden hundreds of dogs started barking down below hundreds loud, loud loud barking and then they got quiet and all of a sudden bush I left my body ah, I didn't realize I'd left my body until I came back in my body and I thought, oh, well, I just left my body, and then my very next thought was about my third grade class gigantic map on the wall teacher was talking about geography, continents, bodies of water, countries on the continent, cities, on the countries and there was a label, and I said, how do you say that name? Katmandu? She said, and my little third grade mind said, I am going to go there, I want to go there, I know I'm going to go there, I could just say that last night this I am going to go there, but I but not I am going to go there good, and then you put c if you say that if you say the important statement again and again in a way, it becomes less important. Exactly right was that different guys way home audience as well as the folks in the room are going to tell us what was different about this time through what are some of the things that held different? And they're going to say these lovely things that's going to make you feel great and you're going to realize how they want even more mayo so if you don't have it like stand up and say I want to mike and you'll get one if you do have a mic I understand out I felt like I was there with you the more you got into the story I could picture the mountains I could see it I could see the dogs everything I felt like I was in that moment with you so I could really understand where you're going with your mom or when she was more animal yeah, exactly yes, I also like the little details you provided when you said you were leaning forward. So even though you're not moving big on the stage when you're just painting the picture or like any kind of showing it as you're telling it that was really powerful good thank you who's next I am I love the moment where you've painted out the continents in the cities in the countries and the countries in the continent and I looked at that yeah like you did this movie where I saw you as that eight year old going what's that the way the little kids can just write in this thing I saw yeah, that was well, you sort of do that you know, the continents here here and here it was it was that was the most movement we saw in the whole time this continous conscious and we want more mayor because you don't have tio run around the stage, but you move more than your moving when you're telling this story your regular life more write your name when you tell the story, right? So you have more movement in your body and even just you did like, a little walk at some point, I thought, oh, that was a great place for the movement. You had this. You usually move when you have a need to move, you know, people say, well, how do I know when to move? Because you have to move because I have to tell you something else so you have to move. There was a point in there when you go back and look at the video, you'll see you took a little step and it was on a transition was beaten is great. And if that step was just a little bit more complete find yeah, then it would put just a little bit more mayo on it. They say, yeah, I like me wait chad also read scorpio said that she felt more drama as you went on. Chris from maryland says that she was more present with story. She was reliving it, and she brought us along for the experience, and tory says that it was less like she was reading the story more like we were there with her yeah people say they love the mayo shanta claire says honor your story linda if you are with your story we will be right there with you for making me want to cry way this's the reason I came to this class because I'm I'm a teacher I teach you know software very mundane right and I want to tell stories and so I was looking for an acting class and I met creative life person and I saw this at san francisco do you want to join the audience? Of course I do are you kidding me? So I thank you for doing this this is exactly what I am pictured. Well, not really I didn't know I thank you. You too well of course okay for the home audience know one thing that I want to add as you were saying how great it was to be here those of you were at home we're watching this you can be a student here a cz well in our studio audience so if you go to creative live dot com slash front row you can apply to become a student either here in san francisco are studio up in seattle and hopefully you can get here and have a moment similar to linda just had be here in person to experience this so go check that out sounds good, okay? So it's pretty amazing to watch people make these transitions, isn't it from a few of you who were in the audience watching that didn't perform. What are you discovering about the way that you perform and what you could do to change? So stand up, say I want to mike, if you want to make and I want the home awnings toe answer that same question watching what's it like when you were watching other people rehearse, I shouldn't say perform get the notes from us get this direction from us what's it like to see us coaching them what's it like to see them change and how do you think you could be well served by getting that kind of help? And what kind of changes do you need to make that's what? I want the home audience too focus on it and you guys here as well, and I wantto talk about that a little bit, because this may be the first time that many of you have ever seen someone being coached in this way directed in this way, or have ever experienced it so what's that like, and how does it relate to you mike's and hands up yesterday so definitely, I really related to the more mayo comment, because what what I can imagine from having been on the stage is you feel like if you get too theatrical or you get two out there that you'll seem comical or something, but from the audience it really draws you in so it's sort of the more you khun really go for it the more you can draw your audience in exactly people aren't coming to c average they're not coming to see normal you you know you would long teo michael jackson was not normal there's nothing normal about michael jackson, which is one of the reasons people were fascinated with him so you're not coming to seem normal the way that amy and I behave on the stage is it normal? Is it like everybody else you've ever seen? Of course not so that's one of the reasons that you enjoy watching us do this because it's not normal I don't mean you have to be a lunatic, you know, wear a wig and fake tattoos on your arm, but but you want to be mohr extraordinary, amplified yes amplify those parts of your personality that are quirky, that shine that are a little bit different that's what people want to see when you're on stage, they don't want to see safe meeting planners don't hire safe I mean some do, but there was aren't good conferences, the really great ones or the ones where they're hiring the people that are just a little edgy little on the edge don't know exactly what's gonna happen, but they're pushing that audience they want that audience to be challenged to be provoked. Then you need to amplify the way you behave in order for that to happen. Good. Next, yes, china put this into words, but over the past two days, one of the things I notice is that when the person is just beginning or they're nervous, time goes like everything is faster and then when you see them getting the notes and working like time, like slows down the president for the performer, yeah, just in general, like the beak, the pacing slows now, but then your experience, right? When when they're nervous, it seems like everything is moving really fast, too fast, too fast and when and when they calm down, it's the right pace for you. Well, even when we played the game at the very beginning, that moved really fast when everybody was nervous and as everybody gained confidence that it slows down like every, everything just slows down and kind of settles into the pocket once they have you heard of the concept of being in the zone when you're in the zone, everything slows down and everything gets easier. And so when you pursue mastery as a performer, every once in a while you're in the zone and you come off stage and you go what just happened and people are like that. They're just going nuts over it, and it all just slowed down it all got really easy and you'll get there were not there all the time. It doesn't happen all the time, not to us, maybe to some people, but you'll get there good. Next, yes, stage it might look to you that you're exaggerating something, but to the audience that does not look like that. Yes, that's a very astute point. Two very various two point I learned a lot about being in the moment of of the speech, not kind of anticipating what's what the next hole beat is about or what you learned already enacting that thing that you're in for that piece, I don't know how to say remember our principles of performance be in the moment, great! Next, yes, I also felt like all the stories that you guys told were so different and they were so amazing and captivating, and it made me have more confidence that whatever story I have to tell, if I'm excited about it and I feel it, then it will relate to the audience. Yes, there's room for all of us, right, and all of our multitude of stories, and for every speaker that gets up here, there is an audience. There's an audience for them it's great one of many from our folks at home yeah now wells this says I'm just amazed at how much crafting is involved even just in a two minute presentation cabe a says I'm learning that it's time to put on my actress hat and I'm excited by the notion of getting myself out there in front of in front of the audience that I want to be in front of great and while they also says I'm also struck by how we think we're adding mayo went from the audience perspective it's not coming across you want more money they want more man raid we've got a theme now more mail well that's the thing that rehearsal again is for because you could come in and go okay I'm going to tell this story like I am an animated character telling the story you khun just find ways to blow it out we can always temperate back we can always good so for those of you at home make sure that you go to heroic public speaking dot com so that you can let us know that you want us to tell you about the total immersion program that will be doing so that you can keep doing this and you can do this you know other people get this opportunity you should too they shouldn't be the only ones do they get to be in the room you should too

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.



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.

a Creativelive Student

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!