Everything Is a Performance: Michael Port on the Roles We Play

How do you respond to something like a pandemic? A crisis when the whole world goes upside down. What role is being required of you when you feel like the thing that you offer the world isn’t even needed?

Everything Is a Performance: Michael Port on the Roles We Play

In this week’s episode of The Portfolio Life, I interview my longtime friend and mentor, Michael Port. Michael is a best-selling author, fantastic speaker, and co-founder, along with his wife, Amy, of an organization called Heroic Public Speaking, where they train communicators on how to change the world one great speech at a time.

What I loved about this conversation was Michael’s response to the question of what do you do when you feel like your craft isn’t necessary, such as during a crisis like we’re experiencing right now. When the world changes, do you double down on what you’ve always done, or do you adapt and evolve? I think his answer will surprise you. His response to the current crisis we’re all experiencing is that sometimes a crisis reveals your true values, and in many ways, forces you to focus on the things that have always been most important to you. What happens when you ask yourself the question, “how can I share these gifts and skills, in a way, right now, where they’re actually needed?”

Michael and I talked about public speaking and communication, and how to respond both as an artist and as an entrepreneur when the world seems to be changing. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

A few things we discussed:

  • How training as an actor prepared Michael for a transition to author, speaker, and public speaking coach

  • Why he and his wife founded Heroic Public Speaking and their training center in New Jersey

  • Why he pivoted his mission to helping people stop speaking and start performing so they can create transformative experiences for audiences

  • What it means to embrace the art of performance and why it’s a good thing

  • How maintaining a rigidly fixed view of who you are and how you behave can be disastrous and why being flexible and fluid in your behavior can help you influence an outcome

  • The logic behind the idea of changing how someone thinks by changing how they feel and how actions produce emotions

  • How to pivot what you offer and how you offer it to the people you serve and what those people actually need right now

  • The dangers behind having a personal brand

  • Deep work versus surface work and distractions

Listen in here:

Resources we mention on the show:

Steal the Show by Michael Port

Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port

Heroic Public Speaking

Download Michael’s Primer on Virtual Presentations