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Episode Info

Episode Info:

“A manifesto for true authenticity disguised as a guide on public speaking.”

Michael Port, my mentor and friend, takes us through his book, Steal the Show. Here are some of the highlights of the interview.

  • Authenticity doesn’t mean “sameness”. It means we can adapt to the role we should be playing in each situation.
  • How do you start a speech that doesn’t “give up the room” or make you small?
  • Can you sell from the stage with authenticity?
  • You serve your audience by playing the role they need you to play for them.



Get the book at where you can get bonuses like training and videos.


Michael started his career as an actor. After building a successful business mentoring and training entrepreneurs in sales and marketing, he has chosen to now focus on training public speakers. He believes this is a natural extension of his acting training and career.

We play different roles in different parts of our lives. These different roles do not represent “inauthenticity” – they are just different slices of us.

When we meet people in business who are “ahead of us”, we shouldn’t take a role as a subordinate. By simply identifying them as more practiced or have been more clever about executing things, we can keep our role as equal.

For example, a chameleon is still a “real” chameleon when it changes colors – that’s just what a chameleon is. When we change how we behave based on these roles, they don’t make us “fake.” Sometimes people mistake authenticity for playing the wrong role. If you play the supporting role when you should be leading or vice versa, you are not being true and authentic to the audience.

Great speakers – like great actors – are willing to “go all the way.” They make choices to serve their audience and they’re “all in.”

A great teacher should make their students a little nervous – because the students want to do things to meet the expectations of the teacher. And Michael plays that role because it’s in service of his audience.

When a speaker has a role mismatch, like letting the audience take control, they are not serving their audience.

Here are some other things speakers do that destroy their role:

  • Always telling people “what I’m going to tell you” at the beginning of the speech. Some speeches are a journey.
  • Saying, “I’m happy to be here” at the beginning of a speech.
  • Always speaking slowly, without varying your speech speed naturally.
  • Saying, “Okay, let’s get started!” at the beginning of a speech.
  • Starting with a lame joke to start the speech.
  • Saying, “if there’s only one thing you should take away from my speech it’s…”
  • Adhering to strict rules like, “don’t speak and move at the same time.”
  • Looking down at the floor before you move.
  • Make sure to cover the content in its entirety. Don’t tease the audience and tell them to “get the rest in my book.”

A speaker sometimes needs to sell from the stage. Michael doesn’t really teach or practice “selling from the stage.” He believes that if you serve the audience in that moment, the audience will then come up to the speaker and ask how to work with them.

When people use inauthentic “tactics” to manipulate their audience, they may only work in short term. Michael tells a story about one speaker who uses hard-pitching techniques but experiences high refund rates.

Michael used a slightly different technique when he positioned his Graduate Program for his Heroic Public Speaking program. He announced that there would be an offer, and invited people to join if they wanted, but told people they could go to the pool if they weren’t interested. A lot of people attended, and the program sold out in 20 minutes.

It’s important to treat your audience like adults and be clear about your intentions to sell to your audience. But you can only make sales offer in proportion to the level of trust you have created with your audience.

The post Episode 010: Steal the Show – Interview with Michael Port appeared first on Frank Bria.

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