Three Ways to Prepare for an Ovation-Worthy Performance

Any conversation has the potential to be an ovation-worthy performance! This is the basis of Michael Port’s book, Steal the Show: From Speeches to Job Interviews to Deal-Closing Pitches, How to Guarantee a Standing Ovation for All the Performances in Your Life. As a former professional actor and the founder of Heroic Public Speaking, Michael has tons of insights on how to improve speaking skills and turn every conversation into a dynamic performance.

One of my favorite takeaways from Michael’s work is the importance of preparing for your audience. When we go into a conversation or situation, we’re often very focused on what we want to say. However, when we’re thinking about what we want to say, we might forget to consider how we want our words to make others feel. This can lead to gaps in our communications, hinder productive dialogues, and lead to frustrations where it just doesn’t seem like the other person ever understands what you’re trying to tell them.

Three Ways to Prepare for Your Audience

After graduating from Heroic Public Speaking and reading Michael’s book, I wanted to learn more about preparing for your audience. I invited Michael to join me for an episode of my Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast, where he shared more insights on audience, preparation, and more.

To get started on creating more mindful and impactful conversations, follow these three steps.

1. Know Your Audience
Whether you’re headed into a job interview, meeting with a big client, or calling in a team member for some tough feedback, you need to know your audience. Think about what they need to feel informed, supported, and encouraged.

2. Think About the Impact of Your Audience
Once you know the needs and mindset of your audience, think about your words and language. For example, if you know a team member gets defensive about feedback, think about how you can frame the conversations to avoid conflict.

3. Keep Conversations Moving Forward
Once you start a conversation, be sure to keep it moving forward. Even if someone expresses feedback or a perspective you don’t agree with, avoid shutting them or the conversation down. Michael’s tip for moving conversations forward is adopting “yes and . . .” technique from improv, which builds on what the other person says.

Must Read-Tip #2: Find Time to Write

To write a book, you need to find time to write! However, this be easier said than done, especially if you’re in a fast-paced industry like manufacturing. You might not have time to write thousands of words every day, but that’s perfectly okay. As AJ stresses in her podcast episode, writing doesn’t have to be daily and you don’t have to get down tons of words every day. As long as you’re finding regular chances to write—and the definition of “regular” is up to you and your own unique writing system!—you’re still working toward your end-goal of writing your book.

Learn More from Michael Port

By using tips like these, you can grow the speaking and performance skills you need to kickstart productive, collaborative conversations. To learn more insights from Michael Port, check out more book report of Steal the Show, or listen to his episode of Mindfulness Manufacturing here.

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.