How To Engage An Audience and Look Good on Camera


Master The Art of Teaching


Lesson Info

How To Engage An Audience and Look Good on Camera

Okay so welcome back everybody where here with a live audience this time because this is our segment on how to work with an audience and keep them engaged and work with the cameras well and the best part is when you have a live audience they'll just come for you with the beginning even before you do anything so that's how fun they are and then they sometimes they're not sure how much noise they're supposed to make her how much they're supposed to laugh so in the beginning when you tell a joke they go even if it's really funny because they're not sure so um can't see them right now but give me the uh laugh guys you see then there is the give me a really good laugh it's really just they'll do anything you ask them to do it's fantastic so philosophically here's the thing audience interaction should be directly proportionate to the amount of trust that you've earned I'll say it again bodies interactions should be directly proportionate to the amount of trust that you've earned for example ...

if we are just starting out it's our very first moment together and the first thing I do is I come and sit on chris all right so here's what we're doing in this segment that's a little too forward don't you think yeah so I didn't see you blushing I did not and he was the host of one of our show so I knew he wasn't gonna freak out too much and I just sat on him, but you guys could give the big laugh god so that you feel how weird that would be you obviously wouldn't do that, but sometimes we'll ask a naughty inst to do things that we're asking to reveal something very quickly. So how many of you are incredibly afraid of x and, you know, maybe they're not ready in front of thousands of people at home to raise their hand and say, yeah, I'm really scared of this, so we need overtime to build trust, and we can ask more and more of an audience, the more trust we've earned because that makes sense, I guess if it does so how do we earn that trust is also one of the questions here, and when we offer first, rather than asking something right off the bat, then we start to build a relationship because an audience expects that were there to offer something to them were there to be of service to them, rather than just saying okay, well, I'm here, so now what are you gonna give me that's, right? And we know that the engagement influences the level of the course if the audience in the studios not engaged and the audience at home isn't engaged, then there's something wrong, there's something missing so we have the content, which is one big piece of the puzzle, and then we have the audience engagement and that's the second big piece of the puzzle, so we know how important it is. We want to make sure that it is designed into our content creation, so it's not something that we oh, well, I guess I'm like I'll do a couple maybe like games with them there's something but it's designed into all of the work because it keeps you physically engaged, intellectually engaged and also emotionally engaged so there's something called delivery contrast. And in one of our earlier segments we talked about content. Contrast that you're trying to create different types of content and you inter change you use that content interchangeably so that it keeps people on their toes same thing with delivery because if we do the same thing the whole time it gets boring so we are sometimes up here talking to you were sometimes talking to the folks at home we might come in and have an interaction that's much more personal. I may come and sit on chris over here and now we have something that's different and we keep changing there might be times when we ask you a question and you stand up and answer it there are three times when you do an exercise together there may be times when um, we ask you to leave the room because you've been behaving badly, you know, there's there's, lots of different things that you could do with an audience, and it keeps them engaged. And then it's a little more interesting for people to watch. So one of the ways to keep the audience engaged it's actually, once you've earned their trust, ask something back from them. So, for example, if we were teaching a bit of content, we might say, ok, this group of people I want you all to remember mary had a little lamb. Can you please repeat back to me? Excellent. And the middle group here are all going to say its teeth were whitest. His fleece was white as snow. Please repeat, I know it sounds so silly right on we would go on through the group, but if this is content that you want your students to digest, to really process that act of going back again and again and again, and having everyone repeat, they can have a whole protocol in their minds without having taken a note. So, for example, one of the courses that I did this called book yourself solid I'm sure you've seen it running, you know, when it when it reruns and book yourself solid. It has a sixteen different building blocks and I teach all the different building blocks through out the course and I might say okay so the first module the foundation has four building blocks how many? Okay, so the first one is the red velvet rope policy will you remember the red velvet rope policy? Just you the rest of your number nobody has to remember it just you can use a red velvet rope policy thank you very much. So red velvet rope that's yours that's the first building block got it. The second building block is going to be yours in the second building block is and I could go through and I can actually assign these different building blocks to different people in the room and then throughout the whole course they could be the one to say okay, so what was one and then he and see there goes what was one there you go that's going to be the head of your experience that's exactly the point it's going to be the head and his head for the rest of his life is what he said he wants it in your head for the rest yeah so what's interesting is that when you start asking individuals to help you remember things even people you didn't ask I will make sure that they remember it too because they might be asked as well so now we're co creating rather than you being a passive participant in the course, and you know what you're doing with all of your content on with all of your interaction is trying to make it as individual as personal as possible as well as as universal as possible. So one of the places that will come up is often in a q and a where someone may ask a question that's very specific and they may have a whole storyline that they want to share in order to get to that question and as a cz an instructor, your job is to fold in that moment one is to give if it's possible a very precise quick answer to that person, but then to turn it into a teaching opportunity that is applicable and useful to everybody in the room. So as much as you're making it personal, you also make it universal and look for wears that nugget in there that is a teaching moment useful for everyone. This is one of the most important skills that a teacher can learn is able to answer a question specifically but have it apply to the vast majority of people in the room or at home and these people at home we cannot forget about there are actually many more people at home than in the room now of course, if you're doing a direct to catalog, nobody will be watching live but if you're doing a live program they'll be thousands and thousands and thousands of people watching and just a few people in the room so we need to be serving both of those audiences at the same time now what you can't do with the audience at home is meet them before the program unfortunately but here you can so when you come in the morning you have your call time here usually called a little bit before the audience close enough but a little bit before but then there here and there in the in the kitchen and they're all buzzing and they're excited and you hear the noise and they've chosen to be here so they're really excited about it and you go in there you start meeting them one by one by one and you you look them in the eye you get to know them and hopefully you already know their names because you've done some research we mentioned in a previous lessons it is very important to research the people who are going to be in the room so that you know their names you know what they do you know where they live maybe you can even figure out they have some family some of their hobbies and nowadays we can find out almost anything about anybody just you know, going a couple social platform so this way you already have a relationship with them before you start so that's the first stage of the trust building process so you get them on your side yes, because if they can see you as a human being, they will start to like you and if it's this this very here's the opposite right you could stay in in your green room you could stay completely isolated from the entire audience and then just come out like it's showed I'm here I am like me you know which may have made work for you and it may not but to go out and actually say hi you're human being I'm a human being it's nice to meet you goes a long, long way and if you're nervous, you know they're going to be the ones that when you look in the eye, you know they're going to be helping you supporting you. One of the amy was amy poehler. She said that one of the things that she learned from improv to to silence her fears to crush her fears was to look her partner's the acting partner in the eye because when you're scared, you know, look, look your partner in the eye and you'll feel better and the people in the studio audience are your partners and when you get nervous looking him in the eye they'll actually look more nervous than you and that somebody is more nervous than I am and you got to remember that they're actually nervous many of them because they're on camera in front of other people also so they're feeling similar to the way you're feeling and you need to help support them that they know I'm going to take care of you and that's really important because never I talked we we talked about trust if the owner doesn't feel that you're taking care of them if they feel that you are using them to teach something as opposed to teaching together or learning together then they will start to resist you will start to pull back and you know it is really really a tricky thing you know I was uh saw a colleague of mine giving a speech and he's a very very well known guy and a very big audience and I was doing q and a and someone in the audience asked him a question I won't articulate the actual question because I don't want to reveal who this person would be but his answer shot down that person most people including myself actually agreed with his answer but whether he was right or not wasn't the point it was it was the fact that he made this person who got up here and said in front of all these people I wanna ask a question and it was an earnest question it was it wasn't anything wrong with the question and the fact that you got shut down made him feel really bad now how many other people do you think I'm going to get up and want to ask questions after that? So here was an opportunity, teo create more trust and trust was lost even though the point was right and that speaker was trying to make a very strong point and he cut that down that person down. So then you're always doing everything in your power to serve the people in your room so that they're your ally and remember they want to have a great experience to as a presenter it's not just you who wants to have a great experience that they want to have a great experience they want to leave going that was the best course I ever walked into. So you are on the same team and it's our job as instructors to just keep forging that trust in that relationship and you're going to do a lot of q and a when you are an instructor in one of these courses that's a big part of the course design there are some kind there's some questions that you will ask that are open ended where the person has an opportunity to answer in any way that they like and you give them the four for certain amount time and then you move on to the next person there are other questions that you may ask thatyou want to specific answer for you're looking, you're trying to bring up a specific answer specific point uh, learning point or take away what some instructors will do, they don't mean to do anything wrong often this is just something that happens inadvertently tell me after I do this if you've ever seen anyone do this, I'm going let's just ask you what is the best color in the world and you're going to give me various answers, whatever you think best color is so what's best color in the world I know was the best color in the world. It was the best girl in the world, green green have you seen folks answer questions like that? Because they're looking for something specific and they want to you to know that they know what the answer is, but you don't know the answer is and they often will keep going through the whole room like sort of, you know, ba laboring this point, nobody knows what it is and then they say it and see this was so if somebody if you ask a question and and it's not necessarily what you're looking for or maybe even it's wrong, what do you do? You still reward them so what's the best color in the world, brilliant was the best car in the world yellow you're right was the best school in the world, green of course, you see, but I have to say the whole audience as we did that as you did that just lit up. I mean, the smiles popped on everybody's faces because it's an entirely different experience to feel like you're being tested and failing then it is like, oh, I'm right and she's, right too, and, you know, it becomes much more a group activity and the way you language, your questions is important also, for example, and maybe I did this in the book yourself, saul, of course. So if you go back and watch it, maybe in there in yourself and I talked about killing the elevator speech, this idea, you have a thirty second pitch and here's why I am that's why I'm so great and I should take your wallet out and give me your money that whole cons have never made sense to me. So what I do is I asked an audience, and I've done this with thousands five thousand six thousand people in a room and I asked you so how many of you love just just absolutely love when I say love, I mean love, love I love giving your elevator pitch nobody raises their hand why, because I have yet to find somebody who loves giving their elevator pitch that much but if I said so, how many do you love giving your elevator pitch? A few people may raise your head because, you know, they kind of all right, you know, I don't like love it love it, but like, yeah, see, I make that question an obvious answer because that's the answer I'm looking for every once in a while, a couple people raise their hand there, usually a couple guys in the back and they just want to be, you know, guys in the back, they're never in the front row and they're never women just guys in the back, you know me, may I ask how many of you absolutely love, love, love, love listening to other people's elevator pitch is nobody's hands go up, so then of course I get to make a joke without putting those guys down and say, I don't know, guys, you may have a problem because it's, not me who said it is the whole audience who doesn't want to hear it now you're getting the answer that you're looking for to make a certain point, you see how that works, son say yes? If it does, he has to make sense, you say as if it does good alright, who fantastic, I got excited there, and then of course you need a backup plan so that if the question that you asked you cannot find the answer you're not getting anywhere you know how do you what do you what do you fall back on what's the thing that's going to save you and that's true too if you're asking the audience to do something for example if we were saying oh wait, I have secret everybody lean in I want to tell you something leaning yeah like even you big guys come on leading like you can't that's great awesome, beautiful and I'll tell you some really, really personal secret but you have to make sure they d'oh let me off the hubble you have to make sure they do because if I say to you, hey, everybody lean in I'm going to tell you the best secret ever and then I move on you just lost all faith and trust in me it's like the relationship just got broken right there because it's part of the instructor's job to say we trust each other in this room this is a safe space because if we're going to take any kind of a journey together, whether it's an emotional journey or an intellectual journey or in some cases of physical journey right, you guys have to know that you're safe in the instructors hands when we start out the heroic public speaking course, you'll notice that you may remember this first thing we said is nobody speaks without raising their hand and getting called on because what we're doing with people on the stage can be very emotional for them it is very difficult to go up there and get coached on a performance and they may be talking about very sensitive difficult subjects so they start getting all sorts of feedback from all all sort of people the room hey we've lost the room it's no longer our room be the audience may not know what we're trying to accomplish with that person on the stage and three that person may get overwhelmed by hearing all these different voices so we set that expectation make sure everybody knows it and then we keep revisiting it in case there are any mistakes because will happen over the course of a few days people get more comfortable with each other and we're comfortable with you and they may start just throwing out things saying something where is the beginning the very quiet and they're like you guys right now like this and by the third day like all right so listen you know they're kicking back and there you know you get it they get we're comfortable with each other and this is the same thing that happens you know in other types of spaces as well now sometimes every once in a while you'll have somebody who is a wonderfully loving, generous, caring smart person who will inadvertently try to hijack a segment so you may be teaching on something you saw someone do this recently our photo so here's what you do if someone phoned you off here cannot present thanks. I was gonna answer it. Andrew oh, hi, andrew. Listen, this is the san francisco police department. Yeah, uh, you're looking for your wife? Yeah, she's just in booking assumes she gets processed, we'll let her have a phone call, right? He was always going on and tell me just get it. So now you just took a moment that could have been a little like what do we do? The phones ringing that she's really embarrassed cause the phone's ringing and now we turn it into something else? Well, you know, it was playful. Now we've got to make sure that he doesn't actually think that she's been arrested could be really, really bad, but you find a way to make it playful, right? And then you have a laugh. You have a good time with it as opposed to what the hack your phone is ringing. That's rude, you know, I mean, like, and you'll see this sometimes and it's the instructor's, not that person they just are anxious or nervous or throws them off and and they're not sure how to handle it, so sometimes someone inadvertently will hijack sesh a session and they'll start talking they'll start telling their story, they don't actually have a question. They'll go on and on and on. So this is your room. You own the room when you are presenting, so you've got to make a decision. I'm not gonna let them go on and take the class somewhere else. Or am I going to say that's? Great, thanks so much. Don't you have a seat? We're gonna move on to the next part. You have the confidence to be able to do that. You do that with a smile. You do that respectfully you that graciously because you don't want to make them feel bad, but you don't let people go on and take up that time when you have a sign that time or using that time for something else. And everyone in the room appreciates that because they're not there to listen to the person next to them. They're there to listen to the instructor. And so as long as it's done kindly, everybody is grateful for that, right? So let's, talk about bringing people bow. That's good? Yeah. Have you been to an event or inside in the creative live, uh, class where the instructor had people do exercises, but then had a little trouble getting them back afterwards, so you know brooke, you open the partners and then its ok it's time to come back and people are busy too oh my god they're excited and they weren't another thing hey guys, come on back and they're still working on that thing I said come on back we only have five moment you know and you get start to get tense and in a little bit anxious you start yelling at people to come back you've lost control of the room so we suggest you use the kindergarten technique of here's what's gonna happen you're going to do this for this amount of time and then at the end you're going to see me with my hand raised I'm just gonna stand up here with my hand reason you're not going to say anything but if you see my hand raise that's the signal for you to raise your hand immediately stopped talking and immediately come back to your seat and if you see someone else's hand raise same thing immediately raise your hand merely stop talking immediately come back to your seat well, now you just go like this everybody raise their hand, they come back to your seat and you just brought everybody back without saying one word again I've done this with audiences of thousands of people it's remarkable all use this thousands people come back and sit down so you can certainly do it with a group of ten or twenty or thirty inside a creative life studio. So shall we talk a bit about camera yet howto work with the camera? We can talk about camera I do want to talk about one more thing before we go into camera I want to talk about partner work because sometimes you'll have people do partner work inside a session and then you'll have people at home yeah who I partner with I'm by myself you know I'm just here with you know, johnny, my dog can't do something with them, so if you're going toe if you're goingto ask you're in studio audience to do something that is ah partner exercise you also need to have an exercise for the people at home to do that they can do alone or something that they can then do later with a spouse or with a friend, but they still need something to do in those five minutes when you're having the people in the room do something that's very connected because they want to get feedback to those people at home want to get feedback too, so if it's something they can upload to the gallery and if that set up ahead of time in your planning so it's in the course description and they know how to do it then that's a great set up for them that's right okay, so let's talk about interacting with the camera because there's a lot of cameras and when you have an audience, you can talk to them it's really quite natural, and then the cameras were just watching you, and every once in a while you'll turn to a camera and you'll say, you know, now's a great time to go ahead and buy this course because x y and z or you'll say here's uh, here's here's, what I want you to do at home or you're answering the question, but sometimes we forget about those cameras and there's thousands of people out there, we just were micro focused here on the audience we to spend as much time with those cameras, maybe not as much time with cameras, but a lot of time with the cameras, more time with the cameras. Then you might think so. We just gotta keep remember you're going back and forth audience camera not like this would be weird, but you talk to the audience for a little while, then you come back to your audience here, then you go home and then here. And so which camera? Which camera? Well, the thing that's nice, isn't it being light on the camera that's on and so what they're gonna do is you're going to see them switch there's three different camp right now our main camera is on it probably has a shot of both of us and then they may switch to my close up camera and there we are and now I know that this camera's on because the light on top of it but doesn't mean I have to be staring at I just now no that that's the camera that's shooting and I want to make sure that I don't start doing this because all of a sudden now the angle is different and see how they had to switch back to the main now john the director upstairs is fantastic he's like this he can he can follow you but you don't want to have to make have to make him work harder than he needs to and you don't wantto make him have to catch up with you so there are ways to signal to the cameras if you're going to move especially if you're going if you want to move quickly so if for example I was going to come over and talk to j k oh I might address him first of all I just saw that that light went on right? So I know that the shots on him but I could also if I'm standing very simply turned my body for a moment first and then make the cross so that I am being caught by the camera and it's not trying to catch up with me and some people move mohr than others I do when I'm doing a big correspondent self, I'm all over the place, you you've seen that even if I'm not by myself, amy sitting and I'm up here and then we're both up here often here we're a little bit more stationary, but if you move really fast, the camera operators, you know, we're trying to keep up with you and it can be almost a little nauseated. So amy gave you this great, you know, tool where you signal with your hand, you look a j k o and now you khun move over j k o r then they'll they'll know where you're going, but if I just move my shoulders now, they know he may be going this way, but you see, now I'm over here and I decide to go this way so I make a turn like this and then I'll go now there's no camera, something I can't go that way, but you use your upper body to signal you use your head to signal me, use your hands to signal, and then the camera operators can stay with you. So let's talk a bit about sound we're gonna talk about she didn't sure the yale and I can still get around it cool, so thanks for that laugh which are your wireless mikes so you see, we're hooked up here and you will have a wire that goes down and your sound guys they're so great here everybody's so fabulous they will hook you up now sometimes your mic pack comes off mine did a moment ago and quite honestly I stuck it on the back of my pants while I was sitting here but it will hook on that was too much information but it will hook on jack and what you just need to make sure of is that you're not hitting it but you're not knocking at it that you don't have jewellery that's knocking into it anything that's going to affect sound quality and can I let me just get a nod from maybe one of the camera operators john can I hit my mike just to show them what it sounds like at home okay, so if I go like this it sounds terrible I imagine it home to us doesn't we don't hear anything so I really have to be careful then we'll talk more about how your clothes interact with your microphone when we talk about wardrobe a little bit later then there's the handheld way have some we've an asset on that wee d'oh? Well, we have an asset on this but we want to use to show you what we do when we have an audience who needs to use a hand held mike can we show that, uh clip great. So here's here's the first lesson okay, so one of the things that most people intuitively understand about their 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 to 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 stare and I'm like I'm not even aware of it and afterwards I'm just like I know it was supposed to be there yeah and it's just amazing feeling good who's next with my way nicely done for me so you see it's very different l let's let's let's show the folks who are watching what this is like when people can't find it or it was really slow so why don't you have the mike but you're just holding your laps nobody knows you have a mic and you've had it for the last twenty minutes because we haven't used it and I asked a question and maybe a couple people back want to answer the question I want answered a question and then we've got to try to get the mic to them but you forget you have it or they're not paying attention so what do you think what is the best um online education company in the world anybody have ah have answered this raise your hand if you do okay so the mic and who has the mic okay, so can you pass it back there? Thanks that's painful that's even that is painful so now let's try it a little bit different so passing that might back up to her and of course the answer is created live all should've read your hand further question um now I'm gonna ask you the same question and you're going to go I've got the mike you gonna shoot it up really really fast okay first I'm gonna say who wants the mike and justin or anybody else who wants that mike is going to say I want the mike and then when I point to the person that is gonna get them like you're going to stand up and give it him so who has who has the who wants the mic? I want them like I have the mike here's the mike makes sense or something close to that okay, so best company in the world for online education anybody know who is raise your hand? Yes stand up stand by the so the point is that since you are the one who is running the show, you've got to keep that moving and you don't have to do that particular exercise that's just something that you know I made up and sometimes it's fun but the point is they'll if they do that they'll start to get the idea we gotta move this thing along and speaking of moving these things along let's wrap this segment biggest takeaways I want to hear from three people raise your hand tell me your biggest takeaway who wants to go first? Three people let me see hands that's completely unacceptable biggest takeaway let me see hands yes earn the trust of the audience first fantastic, very nice next yes keep that mike moving keep the mic moving goods and one more the third person is the most courageous person in this entire room yes, go ahead on all on the room he says exactly it's your room so thank you very much. Nice work, amy. Nice work. You give yourself a round of applause. Thank you, teo, and we'll see you back very shortly for our next lesson, which is keeping your energy up your voice. Strong bye for now. Thank you.

Class Description

Let public speaking experts and pro instructors Michael and Amy Port show you how to own the room and master the art of teaching.

Even for seasoned experts, teaching can represent a new and unique challenge. In this class, Michael and Amy will help you become a better on-camera instructor and a better speaker in general. You’ll learn about the unique challenges of teaching and how to most efficiently prepare your material for a dynamic and engaging class. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Rehearse and prepare adequately in the time you have available
  • Develop your content to the fullest and prepare bonus materials that will incentivize sales
  • Attract a big live audience and drive them to purchase the class

Veteran public speakers themselves, Amy and Michael offer battle-tested strategies for preparing for, marketing, and teaching a class. You’ll develop skills that will make you a more engaging speaker, one who is completely at home engaging audiences.  


a Creativelive Student

This was such a pleasure to watch. Thank you, Michael and Amy for the tips - excellent for both new and seasoned instructors! I had several *huge* take-aways that will help me improve my next class. I appreciate you and the thought that went into these sessions.

a Creativelive Student

This class is full of great advice from two seasoned pros... I've worked with Michael Port in the past and attended a workshop with both Michael and Amy in NY last year that was AMAZING... this CreativeLive class is perfect for people like myself that are not only speaking to groups but also teaching them in the process.

a Creativelive Student

Amazing class! So many great tips & ways to connect with your audience. Thanks Amy & Michael!