What I Learned Spending Three Days With Michael Port at Heroic Public Speaking Live

Heroic Public Speaking Live is a three day immersion conference into the world of public speaking. You don’t learn how to become a public speaker though, you learn how to become a world class PERFORMER.

“There are public speakers and there are TRUE PERFORMERS.” – Michael Port

I spent the last three days learning from some of the world’s top-rated public speakers, performance teachers and experts. I attended the event as the Periscope Expert on site which was an incredible experience. I gained so much value from the teachers, met some incredible individuals, and was able to share my experience with all of my followers on Periscope.

The first day was focused on stagecraft, the second content creation, and the third was focused on the business of speaking. I left the event with so much knowledge and 10+ pages of notes. Here is a summary of the most valuable bits of knowledge I learned that I think will provide value to your career and life.

(SIDE NOTE: You don’t have to be working to become a keynote speaker to gain value from this event. There were people from all different industries looking to be able to share their message better and more effectively. I met salespeople, teachers, fitness instructors, CEO’s, and doctor’s at the event! If you have a message you want to share with people, then continue reading.)

public speaking expert

Day 1: Stagecraft

  • Art has no bounds or rules. There is no “right” way to do art.
  • When performing, don’t try to be right, let what’s inside of you flow out.
  • A great performance has contrast.
    • Delivery contrast: Standing, sitting, then in the audience.
    • Content contrast: Take them on a journey through storytelling.
    • Emotional contrast: Happy then sad.
  • Be playful on stage (or in front of your audience). Make it fun!
  • What makes a story special is the absurdity of it. The extreme.

“Good performance is authentic behavior in a manufactured environment.” – Michael Port

Day 2:  Content Creation

  • Focus on your objective for the speech. What do you want to accomplish?
  • “Passion is the heart of action.” – Dan Cordle
  • Have experiences that bring you joy. Happiness makes you perform better.
  • When sourcing stories, think of four things to help brainstorm ideas:
    • People
    • Places
    • Things
    • Times & Events
  • When developing your story, follow the three act structure:
    • The exposition: Giving circumstances
    • The conflict: Thing that creates tension
    • The resolution: The objective
  • Relevancy is important to storytelling. Relate your experience to something the audience can relate to.
  • Every speech delivers on a promise.
  • What is your BIG IDEA? Your big idea is the foundation for your speech.

“It (your content) doesn’t have to be different to make a difference.” – Amy Port

Day 3: The Business of Speaking

  • #1 thing buyers need is a professional video in order to hire you.
  • You must position yourself as an expert in your industry.
  • Discover your unique flavor. For example, social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk isn’t talking about anything new, he just presents it differently.
  • Get super specific with your message. What do people in your audience want/need?
  • A book is a great way to position yourself as a speaker. Even if it’s only a giveaway for your audience. Use your book as an outbound marketing tool.
  • “It’s not about being funny, it’s about being effective.” – Ron Tite
  • The material isn’t funny, you are!
  • Take a stand. Great comedians have a soul.
  • “Write from your heart. Speak from your skill.” – Scott McKain

If you’d like to see some of the sessions, you can view the Periscope videos I streamed from the event here.

If you’re interested in attending next year, learn more about Heroic Public Speaking Live here.


Photo credit: Keith Reynolds

4 thoughts on “What I Learned Spending Three Days With Michael Port at Heroic Public Speaking Live

  1. Some great notes and ideas – thanks!

    Fun is essential – if the speaker isn’t enjoying being on stage, that comes through in body language and tonality. In turn. that affects audience reaction and sends things into a downward spiral.

    As you rightly say, public speaking is closely related to story telling and detail helps flesh things out in the minds of your audience.

  2. What a phenomenal life changing event! So happy we got to meet and talk about your book.

    You are such a joy to be around and thank you for this wonderful summary:)

    I know the new friendships we have made will last forever.


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