Michael Port on Heroic Public Speaking – What You Need To Succeed
Mo asks Michael Port: What’s your best advice for professional services experts to get great at growing their book of business, growing their relationships, and growing their career? Stop speaking, and start performing. Most people who are trying...
Mo asks Michael Port: What’s your best advice for professional services experts to get great at growing their book of business, growing their relationships, and growing their career?
Stop speaking, and start performing. Most people who are trying to share their ideas tend to only share information, which doesn’t generally change people’s behavior.
First we have to change how people feel before we can change how they think, and then how they behave. If you are working on a pitch or sales conversation, you have to think about how you want your audience to feel moment to moment, how you want them to think, and then what you want them to do afterward.
Trying to stuff four hours of information into a one hour conversation is not a good way to convince someone.
There are five foundational elements that exist in any type of pitch or presentation. The first element is the big idea that acts as a through line for the rest of the presentation. A big idea doesn’t need to be different to make a difference, it just needs to be true, relevant, and important for the people you serve.
The second is being able to articulate the way the world looks to the people in the room. Changing someone’s mind takes a lot of effort and if the other person believes that you don’t understand them, it gets easier for them to say no.
The third element is to have a clear and definitive promise that is associated with that presentation.
The fourth element is articulating the consequences of not adopting the big idea and achieving the promise.
The last element is the emotional, physical, and even spiritual rewards of adopting the big idea.
Most people rely on their expertise when going into a pitch or presentation. If you’re not using a process for the content work and rehearsal, you will fall back onto your preparation, which in this case is minimal. Presenting is like running a marathon; you’re not going to succeed without training and preparation.
Communicating your own value is a vital skill to learn. Talent is overrated. The people you are seeing on the stage at the high end of your profession work on their craft. They may have some talent to start off with, but the time they spend rehearsing and practicing is the real source of their success. The ones who excel are the ones who put in the most work into the craft of speaking, not the most talented.