074: Why Authentic Performances Steal the Show: Interview with Michael Port [Podcast]

Approximately 6,000 tweets are shared every second. Everyone is talking, but not everyone has something to say. If you want your message to make a difference, you need to know how to steal the show.

Steal the Show Michael Port

Michael Port, a New York Times best-selling author and inspiring speaker, trains anyone with a message to authentically present their best self in each performance of their life.

Often, we overshare in the name of authenticity while complaining that our voice can’t be heard amidst the noise. When we finally get the spotlight, we fall flat on our faces or tremble with fear. The good news is we don’t have to.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Michael and I talk about how to communicate better whether you’re standing on stage, recording a podcast, at a job interview, or presenting to your coworkers.

Listen in as we discuss the hazards of natural communicators and why the gift of gab is a curse.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email, please click here).

You can also listen via iTunes or on Stitcher.

Practice defines performance

When you start writing people may ask you to speak. I gave my first talk after becoming a blogger (because those are the same thing, right?) and thought “I’ll do this once. And if it goes well, I’ll do it again.”

In college I debated and did some stage acting so I felt like there was some performance experience to fall back on in delivering this presentation.

After preparing my slides the night before, I stood on stage and delivered a 90-minute talk that was supposed to fit in an hour slot. Fortunately, I got some laughs and a few people came up to thank me at the end.

However, I went back and watched the video a few months afterwards. It was horrible. It was painful to watch and it went on for way too long. A performance often feels different than it looks in front of people.

One of the things I found most interesting from the conversation with Michael is that a great performer is rarely the most entertaining. It’s good to make your audience laugh, but you have to give them something more.

 Bonus: Download the full transcript here.

Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • One of the most powerful, creative tools
  • The first principle of performance
  • How the greatest performers in the world are the most authentic
  • Why the world doesn’t need to see every aspect of your life
  • The balance between authenticity and knowing what not to reveal
  • Deciding how you want to be known
  • One reason public speaking is intimidating to writers
  • How to avoid wasting your audience’s time
  • The worst way to reduce anxiety during a performance
  • What you must do after introducing an idea
  • Investing in the rehearsal process
  • Getting comfortable with discomfort
  • Understanding a bad choice is better than no choice

Quotes and Takeaways

  • What we do today will lead us to where we are tomorrow.” —Michael Port
  • We play roles all the time whether we realize it or not.” —Michael Port
  • Self-expression comes from a deep sense of self-understanding.” —Michael Port
  • Everything we do says something about us.” —Michael Port
  • You can’t be a critic and a performer.” —Michael Port
  • The big idea doesn’t have to be different to make a difference.” —Michael Port


 Bonus: Download the full transcript here

In what role are you trying to steal the show? How can you better prepare for the next performance? Share in the comments.