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Heroic Public Speaking

Lesson 16 of 23

Rehearsing: Content Mapping

Michael Port, Amy Port

Heroic Public Speaking

Michael Port, Amy Port

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Lesson Info

16. Rehearsing: Content Mapping

Lesson Info

Rehearsing: Content Mapping

It's our first table and we're gonna work on rehearsal so the first thing we do when we get a script is we start first of all, we read it and then we start to do what we call content mapping. Now you guys write your scripts as we've said, some of you will actually write them out and memorize them, others will structure it bullet point out the key, points the key stories and then deliver it so you may not be doing content mapping if you're delivering a presentation that way, however, if there are certain stories that you want to tell certain blocks of content, do you need to deliver in a certain way? Then you might want to write those out and do this kind of content mapping so content mapping allows us to discover what about our script? It allows us to discover the poetry in the script that's part of it you may not even be aware is your writing, but the words that you choose have impact. We were talking about that some in our speech section, so you're going to find as you do your conten...

t mapping where the pauses need to be for most impact so that you can then replicate that every time and that's just part of being a professional, there will always be, uh some things that change from performance from performance to performance but there are things that you will find work so what we're looking for are things called beats b e a t s beats we're looking for operative words operative words the most important words in the sentence to communicate the meaning so for example, I just said the most important words in the sentence to communicate the meaning could you hear how there were certain words in that phrase that I emphasized in certain words that I threw away? It would be much eye would be much less understandable if I said the words in your sentence that communicate re meaning and that may seem obvious that may seem obvious and you miss table of course I don't speak like that, but sometimes we have speech patterns and things in the cadence, the rhythm of our voice that we may not even be aware ofthe. So this is a way to bring clarity to that and make sure we're hitting the operative words so I'm going to go through the list of what we're looking for and then we'll talk a little bit more about each one so beets operative words lists parent pathetic als parentheses around phrases parent medicals, repetition and rhythm one more contrast, I thought that was intentional but it's different here contrast is different here as you work with your content mapping so so let me do a repeat did it beats operative words, lists parents medicals repetition rhythm and what and you're going to find contrast through identification of beets and operative words lists parent medicals et cetera you're looking for a cz much contracts as you possibly can so we have given all of you some of the script from the thinking revolution sure and those of you who are at home if you do go ahead and buy the course you get access to this script immediately and so you could if you wanted in front of you that's a good way to get access to this content as well to follow along okay, so everybody had their sheets out say yes if you do good okay, so we're going to start to actually do some content mapping on this sheet and in the studio audience you'll see it up on the monitor and at home you'll actually see us do this is going to the camera right over our shoulder I'm sure the camera will be here momentarily we'll be right over our shoulder and you're going to see us with pen on paper actually marking this so what we're looking for our beats so I'm going to read this paragraph and then we're going to try to find the beets now I'm going to read it the way that I do it so you'll probably find the beats a lot easier than if I just read it for wrote with no emphasis whatsoever so joseph campbell once said that the privilege, the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Well, this is who I am. What I just told you what you see in front of you what's in my books, it's. All just parts of me. I have believed in this presentation for a long time. I have believed in thinking big for a long, long, long time, long before I was able to do it. Because I, michael port, stand for thinking bigger about who you are and about what you offer the world that's that paragraph so let's, look for the beats. Where do you think there were some beets? And the beat is a transition. It's a place for a breath. It's a pause. It's. A place that we want the audience to absorb. Where? What we just said. So if you have a microphone, raise your hand, please. Yes, petition of privilege. That was a big beat. You found a beat in between the repetition of privilege. Yes. Now you don't have to put a beat there. The way that I wrote this, I could do it as if it's a quick stop. And I say the word again. So I might say the privilege, the privilege of a lifetime so either beat is actually after the second one that's how I actually do it so the beat is actually here and the way that you indicate right way thatyou signified that this is a bit is just with a line put a little line through it okay where do you see another beat hands yes I noticed after the privilege of a lifetime of who you are and this is who I am so the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are beat feet exactly well this is who I am do you see because it's a transition I'm going from who you are right? Which is all of us who you are well, this is who I switch good where do you see another beat hands in the front row with mike I marked like smaller beats and larger peter there are so I had a few smaller ones like well, this is who I am, what I just told you what you see in front of you what's in my book cost so what you're doing is is wonderful you're actually identifying operative words and supposed to be so if I read that sentence and I say what I just told you what you see in front of you what's in my books you see those air operative words and that there's no there isn't a beat in between unnecessarily because if you put too many beets then it starts to sound like uh what you see in front of you who what's in my books you see pete I thought was believed I have believed so if that's an operative word again I believed so it's interesting the way michael scripts is that it's a very common way of scripting the punctuation is telling us a lot I'm comin some people don't script like that some people don't use the use the punctuation but for him it's like you's he puts it in because he knows where he wants to take a little pause and then might even have a separate paragraph like I'm michael port stand for thinking bigger about who you are and about what you offer the world that's a big beat where the paragraph ends and is often where I put a big beat and that's when I write it that way so it's obvious now if this if this wasn't written and so it was just one long you know uh page of text you then just have to find them and when I was ah ah an actor I love the writers that wrote the rhythm of the language into the material like I love doing david mamet plays because he told you exactly how he wanted that language to sound and then it's not that I wanted it to be easier but I thought the rhythm so rich so he would write it and you'd hear like that I that that that you see because that's how people speak and another thing that he would do is put in a mark like a slash mark where he wanted the next person to interrupt the first person it wouldn't be a whole line of michael's and then a whole line of mine because that's not how I see that's not how people talk because they are often over each other they talk right over each other social when they're in a conversation with each other that's how it would or first started doing that it was actually like it was an ah ha moment in the theatre world because we're all that's right that's realistic language people talk like exactly yeah good so so any other beats yes chris I take a second for the people who are watching at home some people in the chatter asking where they can get a hold of this document everybody's working with and I know amy mentioned it a second ago but it's totally free to get this if you go on your r s v p for this course no his document is not in the materials right this document is just for them to see as we're working on it okay in part because this is my speech so I don't necessarily want my speech at all over the place people like oh I'm going to do a good speech today you know so they can see it as we're working and they don't need tohave this to get the value from the exercise actually I need this shit got you yeah well we're trying to get a good camera angle here and we can see it here in the studio and so people can follow along if you're watching at home but let us know in the chat room if everything is working for you and jae ko will help you out if you have any questions great so where did you see another beach? Yes long before I was able to do it because I'm michael port yes exactly there's a small beat there and guess what triggers a beat see the beat if it's just put in toe put it make an emphasis then it's it's an external technical tactic but what triggers a beat why do we take a beat? Yes you want emphasize and share but why for example was that beat there? Yes yes that's part of it to take a breath that's the technical side now what about internally? Yes operative word possibly that's again the external aspect of it you have a mic? Yes it's thanks for the audience to understand yes, but internal perspective you don't sound saying yes yes, yes for the emotional impact yes, but what is actually you know what sometimes ever tell you that I've ever done and you were the speaker they they have the answer, and they're just killing you, trying to get you to tell them this one, I actually felt it was worthwhile because I think this is something we really need to think about, but sometimes they just do it, and they're like, no, no, no, it is, if you know that because I had an idea, I had a thought that changed what I was saying, so I because this here, you said you saw the baby before I was able to do it because I, michael port, stand for thinking big, you see, I had this idea that we're just not just that, you know, uh, it's, not just that, you know, a long, long, long before I was able to do it because I'm michael port, if there's no beat there a might seem like I've just planned on saying I, michael port, which is a weird thing to say, but it's a choice long before I was able to do it because I, michael produce, see the thought process that he chooses to take a vow or make a pledge in the moment that's the impression that it gives and audiences love to feel that they're being a part of something spontaneous, they love to see that right there on stage, she's going you know what? I'm not just going to talk about this, I'm going to actually put my hand over my heart, and if he stands up on a chair when he does, and then when I set up on a chair, it I have to have the idea to stand on the chair in that moment, or else it just looks like, oh, there's a guy scripting, standing on a chair, it's a, you know, because because I and you see the chair stand up, michael port, you see? So it's all in the moment, and the idea is what triggers that beat? You had a question I was gonna ask about yesterday when we talked about contrast, because I think it's really good for the audience to think something is impromptu, and I was going to ask, where does that fall? As we talk about the different types of contrast, I don't know if it would be wonderful if they think everything is in prompted right that's, that's what we're doing in the moment type idea like we're talking about him? Yeah, good. So any additional questions from the people at home about beats before we movinto operative words have a question about abercrombie's, just clarifying question, it seems to me that this is a lot like music and saw us but you're not singing it but it still has the beats and the pauses in the holes and you needed has your realize higher and lower and languages musical is yeah course so and you're so your scripting it out just like a song using that so you know when you're going high, low and long and short and pausing and different language has different rhythm even when you're not considering it to be poetry. One of the rehearsal techniques that both michael and I have used is put on specific a specific genre of music while you're rehearsing see how the music and the rhythms of that genre of music affect how you deliver the speech sometimes you'll see michael he gets it, he gets a bit, I love it he gets into this like slam poetry kind of thing and in the original version there was a section where he actually did I get a horse slam poetry like almost a wrap that there's actually a section in this where where people have said always do you do that? You do that as like a slam poetry thing because there's a section that has that kind of musicality to it so that's what you're looking for, you're trying to look for things that have rhythm, things that move people on there going like this you know, that's what you're looking for and that sometimes get your body moving. I used the same technique using and dancing is in its own way I use the same technique when I'm writing when I write books I'll put on one song that I feel will positively influence the idea that I'm writing about and I'll put it on repeat and I'll listen that song for about an hour of writing until I wantto, you know, shoot myself in the head because I can't get that song anymore and then I'll stop in all move on but but if I keep listen to different music, it changes how I feel in my speed and then I start to see a different pattern in my writing it's a technique that a lot of actors used to forgetting yourself in the frame of mind you might have a playlist for a certain character that you're playing because music has such a profound effect on us and so you may want teo for your public speaking performances want teo figure out okay, what what do I need to listen to before I go on stage? How doe I incorporate music as part of my warmup preparation time so that I'm in the right place energetically and in terms of my frame of mind when I walk out on stage good eye of the tiger I want to go on okay, so now let's look at your favorite operative words, thie operative word is the important word that you want to emphasize. So what were some of the operative words? Yes, uh, privilege and believed so. Which privilege? The second one line correct. And, by the way, there isn't unnecessarily a right way to choose your operative words, meaning somebody else might decide they're going to put the the emphasis on the first privilege. It could be done. Obviously, the example a b gave yes, it's pretty clear. If you don't choose those words of the operative words, it doesn't make sense, but there are there is language there are, you know, places where you might emphasize one word a little bit more, and I might emphasize one word, maurin a sentence in one show versus another show. You know, when I watch a video of it, sometimes I'll see it it's a little bit different and that's good, but you have to be able to make it work doesn't make sense. That's the point of it. Good. Any other operative words that you saw here? If you have a mic in the back, you can certainly stand up and speak. It was long when you're saying I have believed in the thinking big was an operative word in my mind and a long, long a long time. So the long, long, long time is an example of repetition, which was another one that we were going to be looking at in terms of delivery. When you have repetition, create contrast, create variety, like the way michael did it. Here is, he said, I have believed in thinking big for a long, long a long time I'm exaggerating a little bit, but he actually uses this sounds of the words and you have that mmm sound at the end, toa lengthened out the word to actually make it longer, right? If he said I believed in thinking big for a long, long, long time, it has much less emphasis and it's less theatrical makes less of an impact when you say, and you see how that that would be closer to what I'm hearing in some of the rosa parks speech is the same it's, not that big a deal. It needs to be a big deal, but I could change that phrasing. I imagine I could say, you know, I believed in thinking big for a long a long, long time you could change it. You know where I could say, I believe you think you're big for a long, long, long time, you see, and if you get too stuck in particular rhythms, then it starts to get flat we can get flat but a good place to start with repetition is to have them build tab if you're going to say it again tohave it be that it has mohr impact mohr wait good place to start you could break that rule all you like good so in this paragraph there isn't a list necessarily however, which is one of our one of the things we're looking for when we do our content napping and of course when you're writing you are often going to write lists in because they could be very compelling. But if the list all sounds the same when you say it, it doesn't sound compelling. So here what is slightly list like even though it's in the sentence form is where did it go? Uh what I just told you what you see in front of you to what's in my books three they're all just parts of me, so I'm obviously emphasizing those words right now a little bit more than I might to make the point but do you see how there's rhythm change as well? Where's what I what I just told you what you see in front of you what's in my books it's all just part of me see the rhythmic change you're trying to find that kind of rhythm and parents medicals do we have down here? That's parenthetical no, we don't have parasitical but the idea behind a parenthetical is you need to separate that part out from the set other part of the phrase so very often using pitch can help with that like I might say I work with michael port best selling new york times author and we work together in heroic public speaking let me try that again we'll call that a rehearsal I'm glad you're excited because I was drawing a black I was like I don't know what to tell him megan she's so that's a parasitical in that sentence is best selling author let's keep it simple, bestselling author right? But if I just keep it all around the same pitch I work with michael port bestselling author in our business who rode public speaking you understand what I'm saying but it's not as clear as if I say I work with michael port bestselling author in our business heroic speaking do you hear how I popped the parent's medical out pitch wise and then I came back up at the at the end parentheses I'll do princesses with my hands. I came back to the pitch that I left before the parentheses is this making sense say yes if it is so what you're doing is go get some quotes long quotes by famous people because when they're long they generally have lots of parents radicals in them and then you read the quote out loud and you try to change your pitch when you are at the parenthetical in that quote and again you have contrast now when we were talking about contrast when I was michael didn't want talk about it but when we're talking about contrast here we're talking about it in a much more specific sense if I'm saying something is black and something is white michael is male and I am female right? I'm again using the tone and pitch of my voice to make a contrast between two things in the language like I have believed in thinking big for a long, long, long time and then he goes long before I was able to do it there's a contrast I've believed in thinking big before I was able to do it the contrast is I believed in it and actually do it there's a contrast you need to hit that those are two very different things there's a there's a point in that show where I say and and I was feeling really, really, really small really feeling when I said right before it was in a deeper, bigger voice. So I said what I was going to say in this way and then I said but I was thinking really, really small and there's a contrast there, but here's the thing what's interesting is that I didn't necessarily have to use a small voice to talk about thinking small in fact, sometimes the opposite is even more impactful so you I say these things to you and I say that every segment we have that we don't get locked into rules just because you're talking about something small doesn't have to make your voice mall sometime just because we're talking about something that's long doesn't mean you have tio draw draw, drag it out make it long although remember in the speech work we know that the words the sounds of the words help us emphasize the point and make people feel what they are the word long wouldn't be a short sounding word it would be the way we've designed our language long wouldn't sound like cut cut is cut short sure short clipped sounds clipped long sounds long and and what in two and two make that word more sophisticated the medical profession what did they call cut an incision because they're not going to say performing a cut on the I'm gonna perform the incision on that you see and it sounds different and it feels different good should we work them into theirs now? Yeah okay, so what we've given you is another part of the script and we've broken it up you'll see on the paper there it says section one in the top left corner, section two on the bottom, which is the secretary the second page and then section three is the third page section one two and three and we're going to give some of you section one some ofyou section two in some ofyou section three so I'm coming over here look up with me for a second please this is section one, section two to write in here, section three over here and you're going to take less than two minutes to find the beats and the operative words that's not a lot of time so you read and you can read it out loud if you want that's fine here you know in yourself read out loud, you hear because sometimes you need to hear it in order to do it so the beats and the operative words that's what you're looking for go for it we're going to come talk to you, chris parents out with you guys just so pretty I can see us but when you were talking about beats, the chat room really jumped at the connection with music and I know that we have someone here mention it, but I was wondering if there's any more you could say about that now we have a question here. Oh yeah, by all means get comfortable and we're way had a question specifically where this user wants to know are there any specific songs or any kind of music that used to help you when you're trying to get the beats into the your public speaking well, as amy said, you're looking for music that you feel is appropriate for the emotional resonance of that part of the speech, the pacing of that part of the speech that connects to that so you can't just say, well, tchaikovsky's, symphony and e y you wouldn't do that and just apply it to anything, right? You're finding the music that makes you feel connected to that. So for me, it's often rhythm that's what I'm looking at work, I'm looking for rhythm in a particular piece of music and the reason that they're relating to me, because because that's, where the term comes from, makes total sense that we have some other questions. Some of these were kind of holdovers from the last segment, but people were still asking them and they were voting for them. You can always vote for the questions that you want to see answer just hit that blue arrow and we can vote for them here but here's, another one about hand movements. Now this question, says it's, been a wonderful program so far. How do you learn to control your arm and hand to make them add rather than detract for sure, so often people wonder about this? I have a feeling people start to look up on work, okay, focus on your work, right? The hands are attached to the arms of accepting the shoulders with their taps, the rest the body and one of the reasons that we often feel if you don't know what to do with our hands is because we're not connected to our material when we connect to the material just like when we're talking about something we care about we don't think about using our hands they just moved so you see me move some people use their hands more than others and some cultures use your hands more than others uh but um but it's there isn't trick to it that's the thing you can hear this is what you're supposed to do with your hands it doesn't work that way it's not a trick if it's getting super connected to the material it's knowing what you're going to say, why you're saying it the goal that you have meaning what you're trying to accomplish what you how you're trying to get people to think to change what actions you want them to take and then your hands will work according let's do one more people are wrapping up uh this is a question coming from tee it up and they were curious but I know you mentioned this a little bit but people just want to know hard and fast can you have too many beets or operative words now is there a good rule of thumb there no yes, no and maybe so this's yeah it's one of those things where if you have so many beans that it becomes like what would you call it it's just not a robotic or or jerky if so, then yeah there's two money it's what you're looking for is the natural the natural way of delivering this language just whatever makes the most sense to a people feel you want them to feel get them to do we want them to do or think what you want them to think it is possible to over it is possible to emphasize overly, for example, if when I was talking I hit many, many, many words you're going to get a very certain field it hurts to listen to doesn't write, but each of us naturally have a different cadence to our voice and a different rhythm. One other thing related to look out for is if your cadence as it happens more for women than men tends to go up at the end of sentences so that as you finish your sentence it's going up a ziff you're asking a question I mean, we're talking about picture here um that's not the kind of pitch we're suggesting you use exactly so you'll get to know your voice on what your habits are, the more you rehearse and the more you rehearsed with a group of people you'll get to know what your habits are you'll get to know what your natural rhythms are so that you can use a very flowing cadence that goes up and down and has a lot of rhythm to it and then at other times say, now I'm hitting this contrast, the other reason to make sure that you hear yourself as you are actually speaking is so that you can identify what your habits are. So if you do have that habit of going up at the end of your sentence, is that you can work on that, because if you wanna be a speaker, you need to be able to say things on stage as statements, not his questions. Unless it's an actual question, the audience also needs to know whether you're asking them a question or stating something and whether you want them to respond audibly or not, because if you say so, how many people blob above a block, the audience don't know what they don't know what they're supposed to do. You raise your hand, if you then they know what to do if you understand this say yes if you understand it say no if you believe this say yes, if you then they know exactly what they're supposed to do, but if I say so, do you feel that blue is a good color? What did they, what they what? They don't know what they're supposed to. And then, of course, they don't want to be the one in the room that you know. It talks when they're not supposed to talk or jumps out in front of everybody else. So that clear direction is very helpful is well.

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.


Awesome course. I follow Michael Port and his BYS system and I was pleased to see he is sharing also his professional acting experience/tips to help us creating and delivering public speeches. This course is different from what you find on the market: both Amy and Michael are professional trained actors and they share lots of insiders tips (contrast, blocking, the importance of storytelling, rehearsing, etc). A true gem and great course. I hope they will do more with creative live in the future. this course (like the BYS) is highly recommended.