Former professional actor, keynote speaker and author Michael Port has authored several best-selling books but it is his latest, Steal the Show, that caught my eye in an airport bookstore. Rather than just giving the reader a list of do’s and don’ts when addressing an audience, Port has created a helpful, entertaining and eye-opening approach public speaking.
How many times have you watched a presentation and been annoyed by a presenter’s jangling jewelry or incessant nervous ticks or bored to tears by endless cluttered, text-stuffed slides? As a speaker and speaking coach, I have always maintained that anytime you are presenting to an audience, you should consider it a performance. The speaker should consider everything from clothing, props, mannerisms and slides as important tools that should complement, rather than take away from, his or her presentation.
Port also views the giving of a presentation as a performance. He cleverly uses his acting background to help people learn to be performers, including information on everything from rehearsal and stage blocking to lessons on using improvisation, allowing the reader to think on his or her feet for every and any eventuality.
Do you have an upcoming speech? Maybe a wedding toast? An important sales pitch? Or a job interview you want to ace? Pick up Steal the Show. You will come away from the book with quite a few ideas for delivering entertaining, informative and inspiring presentations. Implementation of even a few of Port's suggestions will put you on the path to being a better speaker.
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