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Heroic Public Speaking

Lesson 1 of 23

Steal the Show

Michael Port, Amy Port

Heroic Public Speaking

Michael Port, Amy Port

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Lesson Info

1. Steal the Show

Lesson Info

Steal the Show

Hello? Hello internet. Welcome to creative live. Thank you so much for being here. This is heroic public speaking with michael poor and amy need my name is chris jennings and I'm going to be your host for this course. We are very excited to get started. We have a lot of hands on interactive games going on with all of our students here. We've got a great audience now before we get going, though, I'm going to do a quick introduction of michael and amy are our instructors for this course if you are not familiar with them. Michael port is a new york times best selling business author of five books he's been featured on all the major television network and he's, one of the highest rated professional speakers working today. You can learn more about michael at his website, michael port dot com but what you might not know about michael is that before becoming an entrepreneur, he was actually a professional actor. Now, in fact, he has been on some shows here that I want a list ofthe he's been o...

n sex in the city he's been on law and order ah, whole bunch of other shows and movies he's also done hundreds of voiceovers for television and for commercials now he's even taught a course here on creative live before, if you have not seen it it was called book yourself solid you can find it right now in our course catalog if you search for michael port so go check that out but not only are you going to be getting michael on this course you are going to be getting his co founder and the director of training at heroic public speaking dot com amy meade now amy has spent years acting professionally and she assisted the speech faculty at yale drama she taught acting at northwestern university and has spent the last fifteen years mentoring teachers and speakers so without further ado I would love to welcome to the stage michael port and amy need wait such a great job most when they re bios they screw it up completely they just destroy have you ever speech where the person read the bio just killed it in a bad way yeah, you do a great job thank you so much. I'm glad that I did all right with that bio you know it's a lot to be said about you guys we're excited to have you here it is an honor so I know this is gonna be interactive this is gonna be fun. I'm gonna be checking in throughout this course hold on yeah it's gonna be fun that is not a state you are not in my contract apologies I screwed that you're not gonna be fun not gonna be fun but I'm gonna get out of your way and let you guys take it away with the concept thanks but all right you know what don't leave promise don't worry all right good so I am going to get you want one of these amy yeah totally okay here's an apple box he's a real apple boxes because well they're in the shape of what apple boxes uh looked like in the old days in the theatre this is they just take apple boxes and they've used them uh for propping up cameras any of those anybody nervous? Yeah, a little bit nervous say yes if you're nervous yeah say yes loudly if you're nervous so here's what you need to know we have your back so we're here to protect you so you are safe in our hands and wear not here to perform you are so if you came expecting but michael and amy show you may not get that although we're both actors so it's kind of hard for us not to perform but we're going to try because really you're here to perform no, not every single one of you is going to come up here and give a presentation for a long period of time but at some point every single one of you will be up here and we may be asking you to do things that you've never done before we maybe ask me to do things that might make you uncomfortable we maybe ask you to do things that seemingly look foolish and so it takes a lot of guts to do that one of the things that I'm not sure people who are outside of the performance world get is that performing is inherently traumatic when you live your life as a performer you are often anxious deeply uncomfortable yes deeply uncomfortable panic stricken what else? Confused vomiting and in the restaurant and of course the more you do the more comfortable you get so we may actually feel more comfortable here than you guys do sitting there because you know it's not our first time at the rodeo but even though it's often dramatic it could be a glorious experience at the same time way promise you this is an absolute promise to you that you're gonna have a glorious experience and we will take care of you so you never have to worry if we ask you to close your eyes nobody will molest you you nobody will touch you you will be fine you'll be under present fine okay anything else you want to add to that? Yeah that part of how we keep you all safe is through one basic rule and that is that you cannot say anything negative about anybody else in the room or their performance or what you thought while you are in the building in the studio in the parking lot until you are home in your own space not that we're suggesting that you get home to your own space and then bash on everybody but this has to be sacred ground in that way we really see the stage as a place that we have great reverence for and the only way that we can rehearse well together, learn well together go through this process and a really constructive open way is if we hold that line so we have kind of a basic rule, which is that if we here we're gonna get fierce that if we hear you speaking badly about anybody else, you have to go home simple is we're gonna hold that line and one of the reasons that actors hopefully learn this particular way of being is because when you're in new york city, so you're doing a show everywhere you go you we'll find somebody who was connected to that show so if you go to the show and then you leave the show and you get on the subway and go home like, can you believe what someone so did in that there's going to be something sitting next to you is in the show whose sister in law is friends with the producer who you know and so you you, uh you want to keep your mouth shut uh at all times when you have anything negative plus look guys it's just small thinking right there you can either be a critic or performer but you can't be both you can either be a critic or a performer which can't be both having a critical eye is very different than being a critic it's also important that you know that you should not give feedback to anybody unless they give you permission to do so so inherent in you being here is the permission for us to give you feedback would you agree with that? Say yes if you would but that may be in part because you trust us so you know, I know I'm gonna be in good hands I'm going to come but you don't know each other yet necessarily you also don't know your backgrounds so if say jim's up here doing something and then you go into the break afterwards go jim here's what I think you should have done like who are you and may make jimmy uncomfortable and your advice actually might not be great that's not true, it just may be different from what we're suggesting which of course means it's not great, but in all seriousness two things one is that we may be asking something of jim that's very specific to what jim needs in that moment and because you are all creative, intelligent, sophisticated people, you'll have lots of ideas about what jim could do well, he's performing, but sometimes too many ideas is overwhelming, and they may not be in line with what we're trying to teach sound good say yes if it does so we're also here to break the rules, meaning there is no one right way to do anything. I'll say that without copping again just for the audio guy, there is no one right way to do anything, especially when it comes to performing because it's a performing art, but you're creating something out of nothing, so there might be other teachers with different perspectives, and we honor those we respect those. So if you hear us say something that's different, it doesn't mean that we're necessarily saying that's wrong. We may just have a particular way of seeing the world or particular perspective on this work and in that same way you may hear us give one piece of guidance or advice to one of you and give seemingly opposite advice to somebody else and that's just based on who you are and what we're seeing is possible for you and where we think you could go and because you all are different, it will be different, the advice that you get from us, you know, there is a protocol that we're going to teach you. There are there's a structure to what we're going to teach you but it does boil it down to it also being an art and so it will be very fluid in that way and this space case should be considered the rehearsal space there's no set up here you've noticed just an open space so we're encouraging the folks at home to come into this space with us and you imagine that we are rehearsing together that's all we're doing just rehearsing you're not putting on a show you're just rehearsing so when you come up here to perform you're just rehearsing it's supposed to be messy yes it doesn't it's not necessarily supposed toe work what we're asking you to do may not in fact create a brilliant moment but it's teaching you something about what you need to work on what performers no is that rarely do you see brilliant moments in the theater until the show is actually live in front of an audience rehearsal is usually pretty ugly sometimes you go into a show week before it opens you go really way really gonna have a note inside yeah is this working and often the interesting no it's not but that's the creative process so part of what we want to teach you is process is about how to rehearse how to go through the mass so often what we hear from from performers and public speakers is oh yeah I've rehearsed I've heard so much ever hosted three times in my hotel room before I went out there that's not rehearsal, and we'll talk about this more in a later segment, but but it's something that they're well trained and well experienced actor knows that a lot of us don't, which is how to rehearse, how to rehearse. So this first segment we'll be on the principles of performance, and the second one is going to be all on finding your voice so you'll get some of those secrets on voice training and speech, speech, train beach training that supposedly reactors will get. And then after that, we're gonna move into a segment that's all on nailing your big idea. What is your big idea? What is it you promise an audience if they're going to take the time to listen to you? And if they're going to make changes that you may be asking them to make? And then after that we're going to move in our next segment into how to craft captivating speech is how to make them dynamic have you ever seen a performance or a speech that you just felt your attention click out of a couple of minutes? Oh yeah, lots of knots, right, you know the speeches that don't keep you engaged. And we want to teach you the tools so that you can craft them it takes it takes some crafting of it in order to keep an audience engaged and keep it dynamic and then in segment five we're gonna move into storytelling and teach you how tio how teo craft a good story stories are a great way to build in dynamics and contrast in your talks and then we get to the big segment on rehearsal where we teach you how to rehearse right from table reading of whatever it is you've scripted we're going to teach you something called content mapping don't worry about what it's called but we're gonna teach you how to go through and literally mark up your text in a way that it's going to serve you in rehearsal and then how to translate that to being on on your feet and moving into blocking which is the staging howyou stages so that you're not just pacing back and forth or shifting back and forth and making everybody seasick and then we get into two segments where we just coach you and you take this space you take the rehearsal space not everybody you're not obligated to do it by the way before she came here her hair was down now it's shot straight up when he heard she had get coached on this thing it's amazing actually I had a full head of hair before I got here so much anxiety just it all disappeared yes so those those afternoon sessions will be really exciting and and often very confronting but compelling nonetheless so what's it like for you speaking what does it feel like? What are the things that are uncomfortable for you about speaking folks in the front it's fun, it's fun that's going that's good that's good wasn't actually the answer to my question, but it's it's a great answer nonetheless. So what's uncomfortable about it for you yes, being vulnerable and really allowing the audience too feel the story but allowing myself to be completely vulnerable and naked with the audience naked it's a great word those of you at home you may be naked right now, but often have you heard the expression you heard the the idea is, if you're nervous, imagine the audience in their underwear have you heard that? It might be I think, it's the second worst piece of advice you could give a performance second worst, and I give you the first worst piece of advice when we work on rehearsal. But for now, the second worst piece of advice is this idea that you should think about people in their underwear let's just do this right now I don't one I'm just gonna see now I'm getting uncomfortable, you guys are really uncomfortable how is that supposed to make one feel more comfortable? I don't get it it makes no sense their truth of the matter is it's the it's the person on stage who is naked metaphorically speaking and that's often what's so confronting about perform coming because you are the one who is vulnerable you are the one who is revealing parts of yourself that may be challenging to reveal may be hard to reveal but you are there for a reason and the reason is to reveal those things in service of the audience of course too much information that is not in service of the audience is something that we want to cut out of our presentations what else? What else is uncomfortable about I mean I could give you a thousand things that are uncomfortable yes being afraid that I'm going to forget where I'm going or what the next pieces and having that brain freeze and doing the deer caught in the headlights yes yes I know exactly what you're saying great good yes goes along with that just feeling like I get mechanical and caught up in my head and it doesn't flow right yeah good I will say before you even get on the stage preparing for the before me what am I going to say is that is that what you're saying? I don't want what stories am I going to tell? How doe I structure it how do I crafted yeah, just like how the crowd is gonna react or my jokes gonna land of people gonna get what I'm saying? Yeah, I think I'll throw tomatoes, yes, even in the moment of doing it, reading the audience but not always reading the audience correctly and that person board or yeah, because sometimes when they're sitting there like this, it looks like they hate everything you're doing so often those of the people you'll hear from me afterwards you totally changed my life exactly, and their expression they not look to you because you don't know that like they're loving it, but in fact they are so a lot of time to make these assumptions that are inaccurate, but we can learn how to read an audience at the same time. Great. Anything else? Yes, knowing that I'm going to be judged and just trying to be comfortable with that, you know, somebody's going to always think that you're too fat or too skinny or too loud or too soft or talk too quickly, and I'll tell you we worry about that so much more than it actually happens. The more you watch other public speakers and notice your own responses you're looking for what what do they have to say? Looking at the message like, is anybody looking at? Is anybody looking at me right now and thinking, well I'm not really sure, but his eyebrows or I don't know, like bald people like, you know, you're just you're not you're you're you're speaking about well, what am I going to be doing today? What am I gonna learn? Today? Is going to be fun and that's what you're thinking, it's, another speaking course on creative life, he had stated that it's not about me, it's about the message so hard to always remain sure, and and the thing is, people will be judging you, they will be judging you. One of the things that audiences do like to do is sit back and say so what do you have one? Of course, because they have dedicated a lot of time, maybe even resource is financial resources. So they said, I have what you have for me, and often times they will poke holes in your presentation. The critical mind does that, and they may not be, er they maybe not be intentionally trying to find something wrong with your presentation. However, think about this when you are asking somebody to change the way they see the world, it can be confronted, you're asking them to take a point of view that they hear two, four have not, it can be confronting, and they may have just been exposed to you they may not know you and you're asking them in just a few short minutes to change the way they see the world so of course naturally they're going to critically analyze well maybe maybe not I'm not so sure because they may have held this view for twenty or thirty years so that's okay part of our job is to produce presentations they don't have a lot of holes in that so now that we've discussed what the world looks like from an anxiety perspective you know this is what's hard about it what could the world look like and what would be ideal for you as a presenter what would be an extraordinary experience for you what would that look like yes afterwards saying while I just I never thought of it that way that was amazing yeah you changed the way that I saw the world beautiful what else letting their true itself just like out there to the world yeah don't everyone yeah being fully self expressed an authentic yeah that's what I'm hearing teo away both of us you guys you're both right yeah excellent when in doubt she's right I'm wrong yes in the front row first and then we'll go to the back yes in the front what would you like it to look like? Wow moment like oh geo you want people in the audience to do you want everybody's here go teo actually, what else? Just being able to deliver my message in the clear and concise way so that they can apply why whatever I'm trying to teach good yeah there's a piece there about changing the way people maybe see the world but also how they feel and maybe even what they do then as a result yeah, exactly right yes, I saw a hand in the back please stand up with microphone. Uh, here's here's first lesson. Okay, so one of the things that most people intuitively understand about the radio is the dead air is problematic. Dead air is problematic on the radio. What you may not realize is how problematic it is sitting and waiting for microphones to be passed around it's like, wait where's the mike oh, I sorry, uh, okay here, can you just pat nixon is like three minutes later. You're like waiting for this so here's, what you're going to do if you need the mike, you say I want the mic the person who has the mike says I've got the mike here's, the mic bank and if it's over here and needs to go over there, then you pass it, don't throw it don't throw it, you pass it as fast as you can, so this is gonna be fun game playing with the mic is like relays. I want to see how fast this might come, move around the room when somebody has something to say who has something to say, okay, uh, for me, um, amazing it's, when I feel a flow, I'm there and I'm like, I'm not even aware of it, and afterwards, I'm just like, I know I was supposed to be there, yeah, and it's just amazing feeling good who's next with my way nicely done for me, I think it's having the right amount of nerves, nervousness that makes me deliver the speech I want to deliver, and when I get there, I'm in that in that zone, I've left all of that outside, and when I take the stage, I'm in that zone and it's just me and the audio, and at the very end, for my audience to say martin, like one of you said, wow, I needed that at that particular time. That's what? I want it right then and if my question of what do I want my audience to take away from this? If that's answered that's phenomenal speech from hasn't you know what? Being nervous actually means yes, that you care about the people in the room, yes, good. I love that feeling and what more of it of being like energetically connected with the audience like there's, this flow that's me and through me, but also them, and I can feel them, and I can feel them feeling me and there's this rhythm conversation, yeah, conversation, that's, verbal and more than that. Yes, they say, who wants a mike who wants the mike say, I want the mike good. What I love is that feeling that you've empowered your audience with some content that's really going to be helpful and useful to them? Yeah, I feel like I do a lot of reading and most people don't have the time. So it's great to be able to give them that information in a shorter amount of time that it took me to get it excellent. Good. Who wants the mike? You don't need me. Oh hasn't like I'm going to say that I mean cut right to it. Ultimately, I want a message that's so powerful that people want to pay a lot of money for it. No way that that's great. By the way, this is mr awesome. Yeah. Hey is known to many as mr awesome. You know, you have to say, who wants to, mike wants you can have my mind, you're good it's the moment that people are shifting in their seats because there actually uncomfortable about the content I'm delivering because I know I'm making a change I love that that little squirm great good say who pass it, pass it, pass it, pass it, pass it a little bit quicker next time. So for me, it's about making impact I talk in my speeches all time about taking action. And so what I like is when I bump into somebody a month later and they come to me and say I implemented that idea and I raised x amount more money and that made a big difference so that we just remain excellent. Good pass it over. Go, go! Nice go. I just wanted to feel effortless when I get up there like it's just flowing naturally from me like I know what I'm doing. I know what my purpose is. I'm here deliver something and I know that I have something to say that's going to be effective and I just wanted teo flow like I'm speaking, you know, one on one conversation in a room of ten thousand or five hundred, fantastic good.

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

Related Classes



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.