You may know Michael Port as the author of the small business classic Book Yourself Solid. But did you know that he was once a professional actor, with roles on Third Watch, Law and Order, and Sex and The City?
Given his unique mix of business savvy and acting skills, it makes sense that Michael is committed to creating heroic public speakers. Whether you ever get on stage or not, though, we’re all in the presentation business when it comes to building our businesses.
Of course, speaking engagements can be one of the most effective forms of “content marketing” for freelancers and entrepreneurs. But the same skills are required for podcasting, Periscoping, and pitching.
In this episode Michael Port and I discuss:
- When all the Internet’s a stage, we’re all performers
- How to find the “big idea” that fuels any presentation
- Why you need to know how the audience views the world
- How dating and presentation skills are similar
- Why choosing the right “character” is critical
The Show Notes
Michael Port on the Power of Presentation
Michael Port: I'm Michael Port and I show people how to book themselves solid, give better speeches and steal the show. And I am completely unemployable.
Voiceover: Welcome to Unemployable, the show for people who can get a job, they’re just not inclined to take one — and that’s putting it gently. If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur, Unemployable is the place to get actionable advice for growing your business, improving your processes, and enjoying greater freedom day to day. To get the full experience, register at no charge at Unemployable.com. You’ll get access to upcoming webinars and more. That’s Unemployable.com.
Brian Clark: Hey, Everyone, welcome to another episode of Unemployable. Thank you for joining us. I am your host as always, Brian Clark.
Today we have another very special guest. He is the author, the world famous author, I should state, of the New York Times bestselling Book Yourself Solid which, if I may say, is a classic in the professional services/freelancer marketing genre. He's got a new book called Steal the Show, which we're going to talk about a little bit today.
Michael, welcome to the show.
Michael Port: Thank you very much.
Brian Clark: So, you're having a good summer, because you have gotten engaged to the lovely Amy.
Michael Port: Yes, it was a very lucky summer, I'll say.
Brian Clark: You’re lucky she said yes.
Michael Port: I’m very lucky she said yes, and I'm just crossing my fingers that she'll actually show up on the day.
Brian Clark: Come on, now. You're a catch.
Michael Port: I'm telling you, man, I'm the happiest guy in the world, luckiest guy in the world.
Brian Clark: You used to have hair, but you look good bald.
Michael Port: Thanks, Buddy. Thanks, I appreciate that.
Here's the thing about being bald — it gives you great jokes. Bald jokes, even bad bald jokes, are funny. You make fun of yourself when you're bald and people laugh. Now, there are two reasons that they laugh. Either one, because they feel sorry for you, and so they just chuckle, go, “He's bald, so I'll laugh. Make him feel better.” Or two, they're laughing at you, because you look funny because you're bald. Either way, I'll take the laugh, whatever I can to get the laugh.
Brian Clark: I’m similar in that regard. The only thing worse than dead silence is nothing. So I'll make fun of myself all day long if I can get a joke out of it.
What Is Your Background?
Brian Clark: Again, you are well known for Book Yourself Solid and in a way, what you're doing now, which it was nice catching up with you, I guess, a month or so ago. And you said, “You know what, Brian? This is what I see myself doing for the next 10 years.” I love that kind of passion that’s really directed, because it's obvious — this is what you want to do. It's not like you made a calculation and said, “I think I can increase my income by 32%.” I mean, that's not what I'm hearing from you at all.
Michael Port: No, I think this was what I was meant to do. I always thought that was a little bit corny, honestly. Because I think there are lots of different things we can do and I think I've demonstrated that over the years. I've done a number of different things. Some of them well and some not so well. But this is what I was meant to do.
I have a masters in fine arts from the graduate acting program at NYU. And then I worked professionally after spending three years in that master's program, and I was on shows like Sex and the City, Third Watch, All My Children, Law & Order, 100 Centre Street, directed by Sidney Lumet, which is pretty cool. I was in films like The Pelican Brief, Down to Earth, The Believer. I did voiceovers for AT&T, Coors Beer, Budweiser, Pizza Hut, Brawn — none of whom are sponsoring the show, from what I understand. But they just got a little plugged, nonetheless.
I worked for five years professionally, but then I hung up my theater mask, put away my SAG card. And I went out and I worked in business and I enjoyed it and I had some success. And then I went out on my own and I started writing books. And again, I did well.
When I look back at all the things that I've tried, I think that I can credit about 60% of my success to the skills that I learned and developed as an actor.
Brian Clark: There's no doubt about it. And talking to Robert Bruce in our company, he's a trained actor and voiceover actor — he's got this fantastic voice — and he's always giving me tips. And I'm like, “You're teaching me how to act.” And he's like, “That's what it is. It's a performance.” It doesn't matter if you're on a stage or just behind a mic. You could even extrapolate that to your writing voice to a certain degree, as an exercise in performance.
Michael Port: Well, it sure is. Look, I wrote Steal the Show and it's a tour de force on public speaking. There's no doubt. Half the book is very, very hard-hitting, specific technique on how to give better speeches. The other half of the book is focused primarily on the mindset of a performer and performance principles that you can use in everyday life, so that when the spotlight's on you, when the lights are shining on you, you can perform. So when the stakes are high, you can nail it.
Because if you think about the quality of our life, it's made up of one successful moment after another, or it's made up of a lot of failed attempts after another. And the way that you perform during those high stakes situations is going to determine the quality of your life.
I'm not using acting as a metaphor, I'm using it as a model in this book. That if you learn some of the performance principles and techniques that an actor knows and authentically apply them to your life, you'll be able to perform better in everyday situations. That's really where it counts. And that's when you need to be able to show up and shine.
The Five Components in Deal-Closing Pitches
Brian Clark: Yeah, totally, I agree. Now let me give the full title of the book here: Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches. Now, let me ask you this first, what is this job interview thing?
Michael Port: Well, I know people have jobs. I had one once, it’s a distant memory. There are a lot of people — we're not the only people in the world apparently — but they have jobs and they've got to go in and get people to hire them. And it's just like when we go in and try to get people to buy what we're making. It’s the same thing.
Brian Clark: Yeah, it's the close. To a certain degree, it's a presentation and then there's a yes or no. In essence, I think all those situations are similar at the fundamental level.
Michael Port: Well, sure, they are. Here's what's similar about job interviews and pitches, negotiations and speeches. There are five components that I think exist in all of those types of dynamics.
One of them is a big idea, something that is the driving force in the work that you do. And it doesn't have to be different to make a difference. It just has to be true for you. Something that you stand for. And that is the through line that helps you deliver on your promises. That's the second component that needs to be in place in any of those types of situations.
There's a big promise inherent in a job interview, a big promise inherent in a speech that you're giving, in a sales pitch that you're giving. And when you are writing copy, you're making a promise and you've got to figure out a way to deliver on that promise.
So, it's the big idea, the promise, and then you need to be able to demonstrate that you know how the world looks to them. And so, if you think about all of those situations, that is paramount. Big idea, promise and the way the world looks to them.
Then the last two components are the consequences of not adopting this big idea, not following through on this promise, not seeing the world in this particular way.
And then, of course, the fifth is the rewards of actually adopting this big idea. Because if you don't have the consequences, the rewards are going to seem too far off. They need that pain as well.
You can take this out even farther. Think about going on a date, a date is a performance. Hopefully, it's an authentic one, because if it's not, you're probably not going to get a second one. Even Chris Rock has a great joke. He says, “You don't go on your first date, you don't show up. Your representative shows up.” Because you are amplifying the most compelling parts of your personality and you're turning the volume down on some of the parts of your personality or some parts of your backstory that aren't quite as compelling. If you hide those things, then you are a false performer.
Authenticity in Context
Brian Clark: That Chris Rock saying is so applicable. You know how the word “authenticity” is bandied around and some people take that to mean oversharing, just…whatever.
It's the best you for your audience. For some people, that means being a potty mouth and being hilarious. And other people, that means buttoning it up a little bit (this is me, generally), because you don't want to see me out with my college buddies at the bar. Well, you might, but it would be funny in a different context.
Michael Port: Here’s the thing that's interesting to me. See, you get this.
Sometimes people push back on me about this idea. I say, “Look, the most extraordinary people are the people who can play lots of different roles in life.” And I devote an entire chapter to playing the right role in every situation. Understanding how to adopt different styles of behavior, different ways of being so that you can fit into different environments very comfortably, the way a chameleon turns green on a green leaf and red on a red leaf.
So, people say, “Yeah, but, Michael, a chameleon — I don't want to be a chameleon. I just want to be myself.” So I ask, “Is a chameleon actually pretending to turn green or is it really turning green on that leaf? Is it pretending to turn red or is it really turning red?” And then the answer of course is: it's really turning green or red. It's not pretending.
We have so many different facets of our personality. Sometimes, we get stuck in this rut of one style of behavior. And I find people very interesting who you can't peg down. They're not obvious, and sometimes, you'll experience them one way and sometimes you'll experience them another way. But it's not so extreme that it's inauthentic or there is some personality disorder going on. It's just that they've lots of different styles and ways of being and they're willing to express them, because they have a good, clear sense of who they are. So, they're very comfortable playing all these different roles.
Brian Clark: I love that. I really do. That's probably one of the best… I've been trying for years, but of course, I just think you nailed it. And it would take a book about performance to really drive home this idea that you just stop and think for a second. You play 50 different roles a day and they're all you, but you contextually tweak yourself a little bit.
Michael Port: That's exactly right. And so, the best performers are the ones who know how to amplify certain parts and downplay others. As you said, tweak your personality as you're moving through the world so that it's appropriate for that situation. I think if you do that authentically, then you're in integrity, you're good to go. There's nothing wrong with doing that. In fact, it's very, very effective.
I encourage people to move in this direction, because Lee Strassberg was one of the famous acting teachers. He said that the actor's job is to consistently create reality and then express that reality.
Life as the Greatest Story Ever Told
Michael Port: If you think about it, that's what we do every single day in our real lives. Every choice you make, every action you take, every decision you make, it tells the narrative that is the story of your life.
So, what role do you want to play in your life? How many different roles do you want to play? Do you want to play a supporting role? You want to play a leading role. And so, we make choices that tell the world who we are. And I think you can be intentional about that. I think you can decide how you're known in the world. And I think you can use performance principles and techniques to do that.
For example, one of the core techniques that an actor uses when they're developing a character is as follows: they identify their objectives as a character. What is this character going after? What do they want? What do they want to get, to achieve, to make happen, to do? And then they figure out why. Because if the “why” is weak, it's not compelling to watch that performance. Just like if your “why” is weak, if you don't have a good reason for doing what you're doing, your performance will be weak. It won't be particularly compelling. Other people won't want to play with you.
But if your “why” is strong, so strong that the stakes are incredibly high, then you’re compelling, just like the actor is compelling to watch when the stakes are high. Because if the “why” is strong and the stakes are high, then they will try every single tactic they possibly can to get what they want. And that's what the actor does. And if you're a good screenwriter or a playwright, you'll write characters that run into lots of obstacles so that they have to overcome them and they have to do everything they can to overcome them and keep trying different tactics.
And isn't that the way life works? That's why we love watching performance. We love narrative. We turn everything into a story — politics, religion, love, success or failure, we turn them into stories.
If we can look at our life as the greatest story ever told and we get really clear on our objectives, we determine why we really want these things, then we go after them with every tactic possible. If the first thing you try doesn't work, you go with the second. And the second thing doesn't work, you try the third.
Now, you look at it like a performance. “You know what, if it doesn't work, I'm just going to try something else. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try something else.” It becomes less about you and your self-absorption and more about the performance that you are living in your life, authentically.
Brian Clark: Yeah, this is really great stuff and it applies in every aspect of your life. I was writing about the story of your life and who's writing your script, and from a personal development standpoint, just a few weeks ago. So, this really is a how to live a better life if you look at it at that big level.
How Speaking Can Build a Business
Brian Clark: Let me ask you down to earth a little bit more toward the Book Yourself Solid kind of standpoint. As a form of marketing, as a form of specifically content marketing, public speaking, great way to build a business, yes?
Michael Port: Yes. As long as it's something that you enjoy doing, even if it makes you nervous, even if you feel it's a little traumatic from time to time. You have to want to work at it. I don't encourage people to use speaking to book more business if they really have absolutely no desire to go out there, if they don't want to do it. If they're forcing themselves to do it, then it's not a good strategy. Because we want to execute regularly on a few core self-promotion strategies.
If you choose speaking, you want to do it as much as you possibly can to get in front of as many people as you possibly can to create as many opportunities as you possibly can. So, if you don't love it, you're not going to want to go out and get those kind of gigs.
But if you are interested in it, then it's effective. But here's the thing: there are a lot of people who will teach you how to sell from the stage. I'm not one of them. I don't judge, I'm not a critic, I believe there are lots of different ways to do things. So, I'm not saying that people who teach speaking from the stage are bad in any way, shape or form.
My focus has been to be best-in-class. To be a great performer, so that when people see the performance, they say, “I want more of that. I want more of him. I want more of what he's offering,” rather than just focusing on techniques to get them to part with their wallet, so to speak, well.
They say, “Well, what did he talk about? I don't really know, but I bought the thing.” That's not what I'm going for. And I think that if you're willing to do the work on the actual performance side of things, then I think you can do great things certainly as a professional if you want, but just as somebody who is using it as a marketing tool to book more business.
Because what most people do is they put together some slides and then they build some bullet points around those slides, and then they run through it once or twice in their living room before they give the speech and then they go give the speech.
Well, that's not a lot of preparation for a speech. If you have 10 people, 100 people, 1,000 people or more in front of you, that's a real honor. I mean, I have so much reverence for that stage. Let's say you have a hundred people there. They are each giving you an hour. That’s a thousand hours of time that you've been given.
The Right Way to Rehearse
Michael Port: And so, one of the things that I do is I teach a very specific protocol for rehearsing, because unless you went to conservatory for acting, unless you have a background and training as an actor, nobody's ever taught you how to rehearse.
As a result, what happens is you may have tried to rehearse in the past and you felt it made you stiff, that it didn't work for you. So you say, “No, I can't memorize what I'm going to do. I can't rehearse it, because I'll be stiff.” And that's exactly what happens if you rehearse a little bit. Because then, you spend time trying to remember what you worked on in your rehearsal and do it in the moment on stage. But that's disconnected and you're not in the moment on stage. You're actually trying to remember what you did in rehearsal.
Great performers do real significant work on their rehearsal, so that by the time they get on stage, they're not trying to remember what they're going to do. They already know what they're going to do. So, they can walk on stage as if they've done no preparation and live in that moment, and what they present to you seems like it's happening for the first time ever. That's powerful.
Create an Experience through Storytelling
Brian Clark: Yeah, without a doubt. You and I have talked about this before, because I have been speaking publicly since 2007, and I never wanted to do it, but I was invited and I took that as a huge compliment. Again, you’ve got all these people who are there. It’s a kind of pressure that I'm not sure I enjoy, but it drives me to try.
Every year, I swear I'm not going to speak anymore and of course, I do. But even if I quit speaking after my current… I’ve got a couple of engagements in September, one in October. I committed to a couple of things in the spring. But let's say I just quit from starting the book, which I did a couple of days ago, I'm so into this because of my love for podcasting, of the ability to connect with people over video, over Periscope. We're performing constantly and the things I do want to do — let's say I don't want to go get on planes and travel anymore. You know, that's the part that kind of wears you down.
But we're still performing. This beautiful ability to create media, thanks to the Internet, is a performance and it's the difference between getting up there and rambling and making an ass of yourself and connecting with people in a way where they don't think you're up there putting on a song and dance. You're just delivering value in a way that is just attractive.
Michael Port: That’s exactly right. So that you're no longer just someone sharing some information, but you're actually creating an experience for the people in the room. Let's take something very specific that can be applied to all those different mediums.
Storytelling, for example. So many of the people who are listening write copy. And marketing is in large part about storytelling. This is not my idea, this is something that many people have been talking about for a long time. Of course, Seth wrote a whole book on this. Interestingly enough, we may get good at writing the copy and we get good at writing stories in copy, but we haven't done the same kind of work on the stories we tell as the work we do on the stories we write.
Which is interesting, because we can talk. We often think that we can speak and those two things are different. So, if you experienced something, if you have a story about a time you were in a car crash, just because you lived that, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to work when you tell it on the stage.
So, one of the things that I outline in the book is first, how to source all your stories. How to come up with dozens if not hundreds of different stories that you've lived that you forgot ever happened. But a way to recall them, so that you have lots of stories to draw from for different situations, and then how to sculpt them, how to mold them for performance sake.
I'm sure you're familiar with Aristotle's three act structure?
Brian Clark: Yup.
Michael Port: Of course, for those who aren't, it's the bread and butter of most film structures, play structures and TV show structures. And it is the supporting framework for virtually every story that you will ever hear and probably 50% of jokes. I even do a whole chapter in the book on telling jokes and writing jokes, because there are formulas you can follow, there are formats that you can use.
But let's take storytelling because they can apply to both. Act one, we know is the exposition, it's the given circumstances, it's the setting, the time, the place. It’s what we need to know so that the listener understands what happens next.
Now, if we give too much exposition, then the listener says, “Come on, come on, let's go, let's go, this is getting boring.” If we don't give enough exposition, when we get to the second act, which is the conflict, they don't understand what's happening. They say, “Wait, who’s the brother? I'm not sure,” and then they check out. So, that exposition is just enough so that they know what they need to know in order to understand what comes next.
Now, here's the thing, when you're writing this, you do many, many drafts. You write, you leave it and come back the next day. Then you write, you leave it, you come back the next day. You write, you leave it, then come back the next day. But when you're telling it, if it's not memorized, then each time you do it differently.
I'm not saying you have to memorize these things verbatim, but if you aren't really clear on how to tell the story and all the essential details, what's important, what's not, then generally you end up rambling. You end up going on and on for a long time. Or you don't give enough of the exposition, because you didn't think about what was necessary in that moment.
So, the speaking is very different than the writing. In the writing, you edit, you edit, you edit, but you're not doing it in public. Speaking, you're doing it in public in real time — writing, you're not. And there's a big difference between those two.
Sculpt the Story
Michael Port: So, I want people to really sculpt their stories. Start by using the first act, then go into the second act and you identify the inciting incident. You know what changes that creates conflict. Because then some action ensues, and then there's some more conflict and then more action, then more conflict, then more action. And of course, the more conflict, the more interesting the story is to listen to.
Then, of course, act three is the payoff. Everybody dies in the end or everybody lives happily ever after. Or it's the punchline of a joke. But it has to be worth waiting for. If you're telling the story, and it's going on and on and on and on and on, and then the punchline or the resolution is sort of “Meh,” then they go, “Oh, that's it? Oh, that's kind of a bummer. Oh well, what's next? Can you get to something interesting, please?” That’s the response you get.
Now, when you're writing, you can keep editing until you get there. But when you're speaking, you can't go back and do it again. So, that's why the rehearsal process is so important. And rehearsal is not just about the actual standing up on your feet performance side of things. Rehearsal is the content creation process.
When I create a speech, I will start, of course, on the page. But then, when I have my structure, then I start to put it on its feet and I will rehearse using improvisation to create content. As a result, I get a lot of great ideas that are authentic, that I can play with. And then I put them on paper, I record them first, then I go back and put them on paper, and then I start editing and molding and sculpting. Then I get back up on my feet and I do the same thing — go back and forth, back and forth.
A lot of people who write and who create content, they understand this process inherently when they're using words on paper or on the computer screen, but they haven't applied those same principles to public speaking. Actually, telling these stories, delivering this content live in the moment in front of other people.
Rehearse Out Loud for Audience Feedback
Brian Clark: Yeah, that is so interesting, because you just related that to the writing and editing process and like “Duh.” But the idea of improvising and then committing that down to script, if you will, is interesting. I do a lot of stuff in my head and then just try desperately to make sure it comes out later. But, as I get older, it's not that reliable anymore.
Michael Port: Well, that's right. That's very, very difficult. You can't rehearse in your head. Rehearsal needs to be done out loud. It needs to be done as if you're actually performing in front of an audience. Because if it's the first time that you're delivering full out your speech in front of an audience, it will not be nearly as good as it could be.
So, for example, there's a speech I gave called “The Think Big Revolution,” and you can see an excerpt of it on michaelport.com if you want. That speech took me 500 hours to create, from the idea to the content creation, rehearsal, the technical elements. Now, here's the thing, I'm a professional, that's what's expected. For people who are not professionals, I do not expect that much time. Let me be clear on that.
I'm not expecting people spend 500 hours working on a performance. But if I'm going to get paid $30,000, you better believe I'm required to do that kind of work. So, please let me make that clear distinction. I don’t want anyone going home thinking, “Oh, he wants me to do that. That's ridiculous. I'm not going to do that.” So no, I'm not saying that. Don't use that as an excuse, please. Even just 10 hours on your feet or even five would probably be more than what you're doing right now. So, this is important to me.
Now, what I did, however, is I promised an organization that I'd give them this speech because they really wanted it. I said, “Okay, but I have to create it.” And they said, “Great.” But I was not going to perform it for the first time in front of 3,500 people in a convention center in Australia. There was no way.
So what I did is I invited 200 people to a theater in New York City and I performed it there as the premier. This was an audience. They paid about $200, but I did coaching on the stage, a masterclass, so they could learn. And this way, they paid very little, but it gave me an opportunity to do the speech there. It was my dress rehearsal. It was a preview just like one would do on Broadway.
So, you want to bring in an audience at the earliest possible moment, even if it's three people, even if it's two people, just to have people there to act as audience members. And, of course, then to give you feedback. Just be careful about the feedback you get, because most people know what they don't like. They don't necessarily know why, and they don't necessarily know how to coach you on improving it, although they think they do. Because we're creative beings at our core, when we look at art, we think we can judge it, and we think we can do better.
Ever been to a film with somebody? Maybe Sidney Lumet directed it, maybe it was a huge film, very famous director, $250 million and it didn't really resonate with you. And you kind of leave there like, “That sucked. I could've done better than that.” Really? Could you really have done better than that? I think the answer is no. We don't really know how to create the art, but we know whether we like it or not. So, since we know whether we like it or not, we think we know how other people should do it better.
In fact, the interesting thing is… I do master classes. Sometimes the people who come are not professionals, but they want to get better at public speaking. And sometimes the people who are there are A-listers. Generally, when I do A-lister masterclasses, they're private for people who are professional speakers. They don't want to work in public, because they don't want to be embarrassed. They just want to work in private with people who are just like them.
Here's the thing that's interesting — it takes a lot of work for me to get them to shut up and be students. They try to coach each other through the entire thing. Even if I tell them at the beginning, “You are here as students. You're not here as coaches. You're not here as teachers.” And I have to explain to them and say, “You don't walk into the theater and start giving the actor on stage direction when the director's in the room. That’s a complete no, no.” The only time you ever give someone any feedback is if they ask you for it. That's the rule in the theater.
When you are experienced in one area, you often think that your advice applies to all areas. And that's not necessarily the case. So, I say this, because if you're rehearsing and you're bringing in friends who do some speaking, just be careful, because sure, they may give you some good advice and often, some ideas that come from people who are not teachers are brilliant. And there's a time when I call on those people to share their ideas. But you don't have to take all of the ideas you're given and you want to run them through a filter.
One of the things that I give away as part of the pre-launch campaign for the book are templates that are feedback templates, so that you can give your audience members these forms that they can use to help give you feedback so that you can help improve your speech. Not feedback forms, the kind of evaluations that you have to do when you go to a conference somewhere. But real true feedback forms that follow our methodology very specifically so that you're getting the right kind of feedback.
Those kinds of things you'll get at stealtheshow.com. When you buy a couple books, you get lots of extra goodies. You know how it is, Brian, we have to give away the farm, everything. We have one bonus that's $84,000 in value, literally. And then it includes two tickets to my wedding in December, and a fully paid trip to New York. I mean, it's just crazy. It's just a crazy bonus.
You have to give away so much to get a book launched. Then if the book's good, it'll take on a life of its own. But you’ve got to give a real jumpstart, so we give away the farm.
Brian Clark: Yeah, that's smart. What you were talking about — smaller performances and feedback — reminded me of how standup comedians develop their act. The mass audience sees an HBO Special with our friend Chris Rock and thinks he just wrote some jokes and got on stage and told them. No, they go to the small comedy clubs and night after night after night relentlessly work through new material. And the only feedback that matters is the laugh. If it doesn't get a laugh, it gets cut. If it gets a laugh, maybe it can be refined to get a bigger laugh.
By the time you get to the HBO Special, that stuff, 500 hours may be short. But people don't realize that. There's an art to being just effortlessly entertaining.
Michael Port: No, it's absolutely true. And certainly, comedians are going to be funny in the moment, even without their bits, because their timing is fantastic. Their mind is so quick and sharp and they see the humor in almost all situations. But the amount of work that they put into their performances is just extraordinary. It might be the hardest job in show business, working on the comedy circuit. But the good thing is that they know immediately if what they're doing works.
It's a little bit harder sometimes when you're delivering content speeches to know if what you're doing works, because people will be like, “Oh, that was great. I learned a lot. Thanks.” But did it really work? Was it as good as you could be, etc.? Did you fully deliver on your promise?
It’s a little bit hard to get that kind of feedback loop. So, I've designed protocols and structures so that you know if what you're doing is working and it's very, very helpful.
Brian Clark: Nice. So, we can pick that stuff up at… No way, okay, so that's in the book. We've got the bonuses and what not at stealtheshow.com, which we'll link up. Is the book out right now or what's the official launch date?
Michael Port: The official launch date is October 6th.
Brian Clark: Okay. So, we've got time, good.
Michael Port: We have some time. Yeah, and all these bonuses are going to drop in the beginning of September. So, any time people hit Steal the Show, if it's before the bonuses drop, they can just enter their name and email address. We'll let you know as soon as the bonuses are out. But they're going to come fast and furious.
Then we're doing a masterclass event in New York. You buy 10 books, you get a ticket for a full day where I'm going to teach a full masterclass on performance in public speaking in New York City. And then I'm going to do one in LA with Lewis Howes who's a buddy of mine. I'm sure he's a friend of yours too.
Brian Clark: He is.
Michael Port: Yes, and his book is coming out on the 27th of the month. So, we're going to do one together. We’ve got a theater about 450 seats. We'll pack them in, and we'll have a great time. So, those are available, too. But, of course, those seats are limited by the number of seats we have in the theater.
Brian Clark: Nice. Just so everyone out there knows, I got an advance reading copy of the book, so I'm already well into it. I think this is an important business book for me this year where I'm at as far as upping my game.
But just from reading so far — any stage, you could be at the very beginning stages of launching your business or just trying to grow it to the next level, I think the idea of marketing, of client interaction, of the entire thing being an aspect of performance is a mindset shift that's important. It just really is. And I don't want to overstate the case. We're not going to get hypey, but I'm really into it, Michael.
When's the wedding date?
Michael Port: December 13th.
Brian Clark: Okay. You're going to have a big fall.
Michael Port: Yeah, there's a lot going on this fall. The honeymoon will be very, very nice.
Brian Clark: Yeah, for like six weeks, hopefully. After you do a book launch and then you’ve got to do the tour and you're getting married.
Michael Port: And we have three kids. It’s not like we’re 21-years-old.
Brian Clark: Fun and games, fun and games.
Michael Port: But I'll tell you what, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. This is what we ask for. This is what we work for.
I think you and I were talking about this once. Our level of success is often directly proportionate to the amount of responsibility that we can handle. If we can handle a lot of responsibility and we can manage a lot of things at the same time, then we can generally play a bigger game.
What I’ve found in my journey as a performer and as a business owner is my business grows as I can handle more responsibility. And it's really, really interesting to see that, especially this year with all these different things going on. And that's what I focus on from a personal perspective is the responsibility side.
Brian Clark: Yeah, I think that's well put.
Michael, thank you for your time, as an added aspect to your responsibilities. I never take that for granted. And we will link up the Amazon, we will go directly to the site for all the goodies, wherever else we can find Michael Port, we will take care of that for you in the show notes.
Everyone, this was a little bit longer episode than usual, but I enjoyed it and I think there were some real nuggets in there. But I'm going back to the book. The kind of books Michael writes tend to almost be a masterclass. I don't want to undercut your life performances, Michael, but they really are very instructive.
Michael Port: Well, part three is called “The Masterclass in Public Speaking.” So, there you go.
Brian Clark: There you go. All right, Everyone, we will have more in the next episode. Until then, keep going.