Michael Port on stagePublic speaking is a major fear for many professionals, but love it or hate it, when you are looking for funding or clients, you are going to have to get comfortable speaking in front of people.

I happen to love public speaking. I think it is a blast, and have actively been developing my skills as a speaker through practice and training. Practice is important because over time you will get less and less anxious each time you have to speak. You also will get more comfortable fielding questions and being graceful under pressure when there are technology snafus. (And there will be at some point.)

My mentor Michael Port has recently launched his Heroic Public Speaking™* training with Amy Mead. I jumped on the opportunity to see the first event he did in New York. Michael began his career as an actor and has an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. It was a full day of training that included techniques he learned from acting, and from being a highly rated professional speaker who gets $25K per talk.

Honestly, I can’t recommend Michael’s training enough. The way he presents information is clear, concise, and often very humorous.

Here are some of the techniques I have learned from him:

  • Consider your speaking as a performance, not just a talk. Don’t phone it in and bore people.
  • Use the space of the stage. Map different pieces of your content to different places on the stage, when appropriate.
  • Leverage contrast in your vocal patterns by talking faster and slower, and louder and softer.
  • Utilize pauses to allow people to process what you are saying.
  • Repeat key points for added emphasis.
  • Connect with the audience and look at them as you would your partner.
  • Practice more than you think you need to.
  • Practice in front of live people so you can gauge their body language, in addition to getting their verbal feedback.

Do you want more tips? Download Michael Port’s free eBook: The Heroic Public Speaking Guide To Making World Saving Speeches.*

I know that my speaking has improved dramatically by incorporating Michael’s techniques. I even had the confidence to pay for a professional videotaping of a recent talk.

The other factor contributing to my improvement has been practice. I have spoken 19 times so far this year. Practice doesn’t make perfect – but it sure does make you better!

Find out more about Michael Port’s speaker training here*. You’ll laugh a lot and learn a ton from him.

PS – If you would like to hire me for speaking, I talk on topics related to productivity, small business, and entrepreneurship. You can read more about that here.

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