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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
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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

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  927 ratings  ·  109 reviews
An inspiring program full of essential advice for spotlight lovers and wallflowers alike that will teach readers how to bring any crowd to its feet

Every day there are moments when you must persuade, inform, and motivate others effectively. Each of those moments requires you, in some way, to play a role, to heighten the impact of your words, and to manage your emotions and
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  927 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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Christine Zibas
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Like most people who are uncomfortable speaking before a crowd, sometimes it's necessary and inevitable. Life just presents these challenges, and we either rise or fall in meeting them. There's lots of good advice about thinking about, planning for, writing, practicing, and actually performing (and post-performance as well) in this book. What really struck me, however, is how much was about taking chances in life and staying true to yourself, whether you have a speech to give or not.

The down
Marc Stephan
He warned me at the very beginning this wasn't for people who were natural performers, and he was right. Half the book was explaining the philosophy of being a performer in every day life, and while I agree learning to be comfortable to roleplay is a very useful skill, it was very boring to me as I already have similar philosophies. This book may be great for people who are afraid of the stage, or to take the lead in a group meeting, or just generally have a hard time projecting any sort of ...more
Rachel Bhattacharyya
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is an extremely useful and practical book. I might have to buy a copy for myself to mark up and underline. This is a "how-to" for anyone who might be an educator, speaker, businessman - anything that brings one into the realm of public speaking. I thought the suggestions would be obvious and simply reinforcing, but it became intriguing as I discovered what I have done incorrectly and what I could/should do. An eye-opener!
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was okay. I've read a lot of public speaking books. Perhaps I'm not the target audience for this book since I've read so many books on presenting already.

I did pick up a few nuggets of wisdom from the book:

* Give the host what bio you want them to read when they introduce you. Otherwise, the host may introduce you with inaccurate information.
* When crafting and delivering your presentation, focus on the people who are open to your ideas but aren't on your side of the table yet.
Chelsey Cosh
Aug 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
I read Steal the Show expecting a plethora of tips for diverse situations. After all, in its title, it sells itself as a book guaranteeing "a standing ovation for all the performances in your life". That's a big range if, like the book claims, that Shakespeare is right in that all the world's a stage. The advice given isn't nearly as meaningful as I hoped. It truly deals with only one specific scenario and that is you giving a speech to an auditorium or a boardroom full of people. It doesn't ...more
Tracy Elman
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sales is show business. I did not relize I needed this kind of training. But after listening to this book I wanted more. So I went onto his web videos. Incredible. What a process. Acting is very improtant for leadership and sales.
Enrique  Martinez
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Its about the author and his insanely great skills, but you are not going to learn nothing of it. ...more
Scott Wozniak
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great overview of the craft of presentations, from a professional actor turned professional speaker. As a former actor who gives presentations, I not only endorse his insights, I use all the internal and external techniques in the book. And he shows how to use these skills in more ways than just the big stage event, including meetings and conversations. Strong read.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Decent thought exercises on thinking like a performer. Felt like a ton of filler though. I feel like better editing could have really improved this one
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Some chapter were good and some other chapters were great and bery beneficial.

Ch3 , 5 and 15 was my personal favourite
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is really amazing, especially if you want to do exceptional on public speaking. It provides lots of cool, inspiring ideas on public speaking, and you get to see the areas you need to improve on just by reading the first 15 pages of the book!
Sep 13, 2018 rated it liked it
In my opinion, it's a good book, it has a good approach to the subject by the author with some practical overall examples and step by steps to apply the techniques/methods mentioned. But, there are some parts of the book that the content gets too specific for professional speakers with tips and models far from the reality of the majority of people (conference presentations to a big audience for example). It was during those parts that I started to lose interest and my reading became lame, it was ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Michael Port did a good job laying out some tips in terms of how to become a better performer. He takes his background in acting finds many ways to successfully adopt to public speaking. I found it surprising how many parallels there are such as being in the moment, improv, rehearsal, motivation, and many more. However, there's only so much Michael can give in a book - you have to get out there and actually practice/do it! It's like reading a book on swimming technique - it won't work if you ...more
Subu Balan
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
*** only because it kept my attention throughout the book. IMO the contents of this book can be classified as 30% good, 60% brag (about the authors company, his background and his style) and 10% not sure why that was relevant. ...more
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The word "performance" has a kind of oily overtone: think of someone "performing" in conversation or a presentation, and you probably think of someone who's faking it. But as Michael Port points out, performance can be profoundly authenticand in this book, he draws on the actor's toolbox to equip you to deliver convincing, powerful, honest performances.

The emphasis is on public speaking, but much of what he covers applies to everything from crucial conversations to that make-or-break job
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book talks about how to give a great performance in almost any situation. The author uses personal experiences as examples and provides a lot of emphasis on the motivation and why it is important to do the steps described. In a way the steps are slightly abstract and require you to think on your feet, if you are not good on these it will be hard to steal the show in dynamic environments like giving a speech.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Port shares his expertise in keynote speaking, acting, improv and coaching to help readers prepare and deliver impactful speeches. Chapter 12 on how to rehearse and stage a performance is particularly strong, as are chapters 1-3 on the performer's mindset. A good counterpart to Second City's "Yes, And...".
Really enjoyed this book, I do a lot of public speaking so it was interesting to get new ideas. Mr. Port has a good writing style and interesting examples to get better at public speaking.
Josh Steimle
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Unless you communicate exclusively through email then speaking is critical to your career and your ability to influence others. This book is a great one to help you learn how to do it better.
Jan 18, 2016 added it
This book is easy and fun to read. I nailed a Toastmasters icebreaker with what I learned from a quick reading. I'll definitely study this material; it sounds great.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good strategies. Will be most useful for those doing public speaking.
Stephanie Scotti
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever admired the confidence and poise of a stage performer, wishing you could perform like that for your next major speaking engagement? In his book, Steal the Show, Michael Port teaches us how to do just that.

To be candid, I have often pushed back when colleagues and clients compared delivering a presentation to a stage performance. I saw that as projecting a false façade; showing people something other than who you truly are.

Yet Ports book did not advocate being false. Quite the
Synthia Salomon
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I read this with the hope of tidbits for teaching and capturing my students! The key message according to Blinkist is whether you know it or not, youre a natural-born actor. Every day, you move between different roles and play different parts. But heres the snag: that intuitive understanding of performance rarely equips you for those daunting moments when youre forced into the limelight. So what should you do next time you take to the stage in front of your peers? The key is to let your inner ...more
Ashutosh Narendra
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it

3.5 out of 5

If you're one of those people who have hard time speaking in general let alone in front of a huge crowd. This book is a good starter to get you started. Being a public speaker myself, I could relate and approve some of his techniques suggested throughout the book. #NoobieRecommended

-Simple language to go ahead with
-Tilts a little bit on the motivational side of books
-Definitely provides some good inputs for improving public speaking.

-Kind of salesy, no one
Alejandro I Sanoja
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Great book for anyone who wants to take their public speaking skills to the next level.

Thanks to my friend José for this great gift!

After reading this you understand that being great at public speaking it's a skill that anyone can have but it takes a lot of practice to master.

The keyword here is practice. The best part is that Michael Port outlines a great process on how to practice the right way.

The book goes in line with many things that I have been able to learn by doing Improv Comedy. In
Jaron Dunford
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-business
Notes from Steal the Show.

Listen with all of your senses to crowds reaction to understand feeling in the room

In the last stage of editing, murder your darlings. We tend to add more details and examples for important parts or to be sure the audience gets it. Cut to the meat. Choose the strongest example or data point at a critical part of your story.

First point to developing content is to identify big idea and related promise. Once you have big idea, whole journey is about getting your audience
Ryan Lackey
I wanted to like this book but ended up deeply disappointed. It is really 2 stars, but includes a couple of decent points and is an important topic so I was generous.

Basically two parts a completely forgettable life advice from an actor and public speaker (which was simultaneously generic and bleh), and then a longer section on actual public speaking advice, again based on acting techniques. This was somewhat useful. Most was generic advice but with good motivation (rehearse a lot, make eye
Ryan Rench
I had never heard of Michael Port before this book (I'd seen his picture, I guess), but I really enjoyed this book.

My problem was that the book I had just finished was on the same topic (on giving a TED talk), and was one of the best public-speaking books I had ever read. STEAL THE SHOW would have otherwise been a top book of this year for me.

What I liked were the practical tips and suggestions from real-life coaching and experience. What I thought was strange was the weird stuff like "Always
Hannah Guskie
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Port took on a nearly impossible challenge with this book: teach public speaking without actually speaking to the learner, or having the learner speak a single a word. Most chapters focused on how to plan a speech (outlining the speech, the editing process) as opposed to how to connect with an audience and keep them with you when speaking, but again, only so much about public speaking can be taught through text. Much of the information seemed a bit basic, and I do think the book could have ...more
Josma Almanza
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book served me in a way I did not expect. It is not only tips and how-to's on speeches and public speaking. It is a guide for nailing every performance, in the wide sense of the word, I mean any interaction you wish to transmit your listener(s) a message, in an impactful way.
It is about mindset, silencing your inner critiquing voice, decision-making, taking risks, comedy and improv, staying in the moment, commitment to practice and a bunch of other nice topics.
It also has a lot of
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“To take those risks not only do you need to silence the external critics, you also need to let go of the inner critic that tries to worry you about the fear of rejection.” 1 likes
“Yet, I can almost hear you saying, “Well, I’m not really a performer and I’m certainly not an actor; in fact, I’m far from it. Actors love the spotlight and can’t wait to get onstage. I’m shy and I get visibly nervous when I have to speak in front of others.”
Well, I have good news for you. That’s fantastic. No, it’s better than that. It’s a “you-just-won-the-lottery” kind of fantastic. You’re exactly the person for whom I’ve written this book.”
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