Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances

steal_showA powerful way to master every performance in your career and life, from presentations and sales pitches to interviews and tough conversations, drawing on the methods the author applied as a working actor and has honed over a decade of coaching salespeople, marketers, managers, and business owners

Every day there are moments when you must persuade, inform, and motivate others effectively. Each of those moments requires you, in some way, to play a role, to heighten the impact of your words, and to manage your emotions and nerves. Every interaction is a performance, whether you’re speaking up in a meeting, pitching a client, or walking into a job interview.

In Steal the Show, New York Times best-selling author Michael Port draws on his experience as an actor and as a highly successful corporate speaker and trainer to teach readers how to make the most of every presentation and interaction. He demonstrates how the methods of successful actors can help you connect with, inspire, and persuade any audience. His key strategies for commanding an audience’s attention include developing a clear focus for every performance, making sure you engage with your listeners, and finding the best role for yourself in order to convey your message with maximum impact.

Michael Port is one of the most in-demand corporate speakers working today. His presentations are always powerful, engaging, and inspirational. And yes, audiences always give him a standing ovation.

An inspiring program full of essential advice for spotlight lovers and wallflowers alike that will teach readers how to bring any crowd to its feet.

You can buy the book from The Book Depository, or Amazon

[Quick public speaking tip] Who cares?

Who cares?

Do you?

Does your audience?


What about your speaking success? Do you care about that?

If you care about being successful, you are going to have to consider your audience. Success is all about them.

Consider your audience if you want to be successful.

Show them you care.

They have to feel that you have their best interests in mind, not just your own agenda.

While you are speaking to them, it has to be apparent that you care about them and what they want and need.

Otherwise you lose their trust, and the chance to entertain, inspire, persuade, compel.


Do you care that what you say aligns with your values and your truth …

about speaking with integrity?

Because if you aren’t in alignment with what you are communicating, saying, you will suffer, feel strange, removed, uncomfortable. You will have to fight it.

I spent years speaking successfully in competition, and yet feeling just that way, as though what I was doing was outside my reality somehow. It’s only since I stopped competing and started helping/inspiring/teaching with my speaking that I have realised the disconnect – I was speaking to win (success). Certainly the content was from within my own values and what I wanted to communicate, but there was always the dual interest, my audience and my success – and so the interest was divided between audience and success instead of focused on that audience.

It is sooooo much easier to show you care – genuinely.

And if you don’t, then I can only say find a way that you do, and use that as a frame for all that you present.

Use your speaking skills to create the connection with your audience and engage them. Use stories and humour. Interact with them. Call back to incidents or people they know. You have to have engagement, anyway, in order to begin the process of persuasion. And it will make it easier for you to feel in flow and connected …

and caring!

Public speaking education

How can we learn to become public speakers?

How do we learn public speaking?

Formal education will make a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

Formal education will make a living; self-education will make you a fortune.

Formal education.

I have post graduate qualifications. Most of the time that I was studying I had no idea what good it would do me, and at times I had no idea what I would do with it. And those two things can be very different!!

That was my formal education.

In my employment I was very grateful for those qualifications because they were recognised wherever I went and I was given employment and wages commensurate with their level.

They made me a living and a good one at that!


A lifelong pursuit, self-education! The older I get, the more intense it becomes. Perhaps I am now cramming!!

We learn by doing.

We learn to avoid pain.

We learn to pursue dreams and goals.

We learn to survive, sometimes.

We learn by research.

We learn by modelling.

We learn through our connection with other people.

And while that comes through formal education, it continues and is far more intense through self-education.

I suspect that in Jim Rohn’s time, there was also very little formal education in things like resilience, risk-taking, entrepreneurship, goal-setting.

I suspect also that in his time, formal education was undertaken under compulsion and the subjects studied, like mine, seemingly having very little correlation with the individual’s needs or innate abilities.

We learned a trade or a profession through formal education.

We learned to take that trade or profession out into the world through self education.

And the same can be said of public speaking.

We learn by doing.

We learn to avoid pain.

We learn to pursue dreams and goals.

We learn to survive, sometimes.

We learn by research.

We learn by modelling.

We learn through our connection with other people.

And while that comes through formal education, it continues and is far more intense through self-education.

Herding as persuasion. What kind of shepherd are you? Or perhaps you are the sheep.

We fit in. We fit in with society, with our families, with our peers.

From a very young age, and from way back in the mists of history, we have been shepherded by our families, our tribe, our peers into conforming.

There was a time, and perhaps there are still times, when our very survival depended/depends on it.

So the urge to conform is strong in us,

especially in situations where we may not know what is appropriate, expected and safe.

I felt it when I attended a presentation early in my days in business.

He had already used various techniques that had me on edge, uncomfortable, aware of the not-so-subtle attempts at persuasion.

He had audience members becoming more and more excited.

“Raise your hand if …” and up went the hands.

Say “Yes” if you agree. And they were shouting “yes”.

“Who wants my freebie?” And before he had finished describing the thousands of dollars’ worth, two gentlemen were running to the stage for his USB.

“Everyone who belongs to my tribe run to the back of the room to sign up.”

And they did.

He had started with a room full of people. Many had left, but the numbers were still quite large.

I had no desire to buy.

I was very aware of what he was doing.

It was unsubtle and ugly,

and yet still I felt an outsider, uncomfortable, boring!

The power of belonging to the herd is incredibly strong.

And more recently, I attended a multi-level-marketing presentation.

I was late, partly because I was reluctant to attend, having agreed to make up numbers for a friend, and found myself sitting in a front row on a chair while about ten people sat on lounge chairs and padded chairs in an arc behind me.

And here again …

“Raise your hand if you want to live your dream.”

And the hands went up.

“Who’s excited by this offer?” And they very nearly shouted “Hallelujah!”

Then the presenter started inviting people to give testimonials and it became fairly obvious that there were only three of us who were not already members of the scheme.

Lovely to have so many people forming a community and supporting my friend who had hosted the event.

And while I felt uncomfortable sitting at the front, the herd force wasn’t as powerful as my first experience because I had gone in without any hopes.

At the earlier event I had been drawn by a particular suggestion in the marketing.

The herd instinct is a strong force for persuasion, especially in the unsure or vulnerable.


Have you been in an audience and felt the force of it?

Perhaps you have been a shepherd, using the force – hopefully with more subtlety and integrity than those I experienced!