For speakers who want to move their audience to think, feel, and act differently, Heroic Public Speaking offers:

events

transformational events

programs

world-class training programs

podcast

and a public speaking podcast

for speakers who want to leverage the power of performance to move audiences to think differently, feel differently, and act differently.

We've built an organization that offers the most rigorous and intensive keynote speaker training in the world.

You understand that public speaking is the bridge between you and your goals.
Getting on bigger stages, inspiring others to change for the better, commanding larger fees, reaching more people, getting more business… you need to cross that bridge.

Perhaps you’ve crossed the public speaking bridge many times before. Or maybe it feels like you’re building that bridge from the struts up. Either way, we’ve found that the sturdiest, most effective, and most sustainable way to make the most of your opportunities is to stop speaking and start performing.

Speak and Spill

Michael and Amy presenting at Speak and Spill in 2019.

The only way to reach the top level in this industry is to write and deliver a truly transformational speech.

Maybe you have a lot more potential than you think you do. Or, it’s possible that you’re not as effective as you think you actually are. Either way, if you rely on talent and charm, you’ll hit a plateau. You can’t get off that plateau by trying to move the market or just by being better at the business side of things.

You need to hone your craft and lean what it takes to become a referable speaker.

Travel through the decades with us, where you’ll witness the death of a hairline, the beginning of a love story, and

THE BIRTH OF HEROIC PUBLIC SPEAKING

1990s

amy

[AMY] I enroll in two of the top MFA Acting conservatories: Yale School of Drama and NYU
Tisch School of the Arts.

michael

[MICHAEL] I only get into NYU. Had I been accepted to Yale, we would’ve met right away.

michael

[MICHAEL] We both graduate with a Masters in Fine Arts and immediately begin working
professionally in film, TV, commercials, and national stage productions doing plays
written by the greats: Stoppard, Shakespeare, Mamet.

We live in the same city, share the same talent agency, and attend the same auditions…

amy

[AMY] But we still haven’t met.

1999

amy

[AMY] I’m offered a once-in-a-lifetime role in a NY-premiering play called Stop Kiss. It’s a groundbreaking work, the type of play that makes a real difference. It’s a dream role for me.

However, I am also working nonstop at this point, and I’m starting to notice that the on-the-road actor life isn’t coupling well with my goal of having a family.

2000s

Michael Amy

[MICHAEL AND AMY] We say goodbye to our time with acting, going on to have success in—what we thought—were roles that had nothing to do with acting.

michael

[MICHAEL] I talk my way into a job I’m completely unqualified for.Within 6 months, I’m running an entire division of a public company. Sometimes not knowing how things are done can be an advantage.

amy

[AMY] I do a few more commercials and industrial films… and then I part ways from acting. I start to look for work where I can make a difference, work closely with others, and explore movement.

michael

[MICHAEL] That whole time, we each lean into performance though …

2003

michael

[MICHAEL] I study under Coachville owner Dave Buck specifically and work with a lot of his students. It’s the beginning of a new chapter, and my life in NY is too expensive as I start to live out this new professional dream. A family member lives in Pennsylvania and offers his 1 room garage apartment with free rent—in, what seemed to me at the time, the middle of nowhere. I move out there to get this career going.

It is rough.

I start a full-time consulting business. At first, I was afraid people wouldn’t take me seriously coming from an acting background. But actors can be some of the most intelligent people. To produce well-rounded characters that represent humanity in its most primal form, you have to understand people really darn well.

amy

[AMY] I open up my own yoga practice.

My heart feels fuller, being a mother and entrepreneur, and I love that I get to work with and teach movement on a daily basis. There is forward motion.

2005

michael

[MICHAEL] I start writing a book. I knew a literary agent for fiction. Well, to be fair, I met her once. No problem. I ask if she could take my proposal and give feedback.

She reads it and immediately wants to represent me.

… And then she’s able to sell my manuscript right away, all because the publisher loved the title: Book Yourself Solid.

2006

michael

[MICHAEL] The book comes out and things start happening—fast. I start speaking everywhere as a paid professional speaker; turns out my acting background prepared me pretty well for a career in speaking. I have a full book of gigs for years to come. I am Booked Solid.

The book leads to the creation of in-depth intellectual property: in course offerings, in more books, in certifications, and, yes, in a referrable speech.

2010

michael

[MICHAEL] It finally happens: Amy and I meet—and in a scenario that has everything to do with performance.

I’m picking up my son from school when I hear a voice across the parking lot. I ran in its direction,
and there she was.

  • “I know this is going to sound strange, but are you an actor?”
  • “No. I mean, I was, why?”
  • “Where did you train?”
  • “Yale Drama”
  • “I went to NYU Grad Acting. I can tell that you have a trained voice.”

Yes, voice training is that powerful. It changes your tone, timing, articulation, and power.

We see each other at pickup for the kids and I start taking her yoga classes every once in a while.

2011

amy

[AMY] I enroll in the Book Yourself Solid mentoring program and work events with Michael.
Michael advises me on my business...and I triple my income. In one year.

michael

[MICHAEL] Meanwhile, I see how quickly Amy understands concepts that I teach.
Amy has an impressive brain.

2013

michael

[MICHAEL] I pilot Masterclasses as I was thinking of moving away from Book Yourself Solid. I ask Amy to come to one because it might remind her of her days in grad school.

amy

[AMY] … In the middle of it, he pulls me up on stage to work with a student. Right on the spot!

michael

[MICHAEL] And she is fantastic. Amy can do exactly what I do because of her acting background and training. So, Amy joins me as a business partner and we start shaping this unnamed company.

We’re starting to see that our theory is right: a speech has the power to change the world, the people in it, and the speaker.

2014

Michael Amy

[MICHAEL AND AMY] We’re the proud parents of Heroic Public Speaking.

michael

[MICHAEL] It has Amy’s cheekbones, don’t you think?

amy

[AMY] We start with an online course …

… And move into a live event.

… Followed by a comprehensive, long-term training program.

2015

michael

[MICHAEL] I release Steal the Show. It hits the bestsellers lists for The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly.

Concurrently, I start the Steal the Show podcast and start interviewing speakers from around the globe.

amy

[AMY] While that’s happening, we continue growing our programs and developing more curriculum for our students.

Michael Amy

[MICHAEL & AMY] We end the year by sealing the deal: not just in business, but in life.

2016

Michael Amy

[MICHAEL & AMY] We refine our offerings, and add faculty to our programs: writing coaches, performance coaches, movement coaches.

2017

Michael Amy

[MICHAEL & AMY] We realize that, to truly deliver on the promise of HPS, we need to build an institution like we had at NYU or Yale. That’s when the idea of HPS HQ was born.

We build a perfectly designed space for students with them in mind; they are in the fabric of the building.

HPS HQ was an indoor soccer complex before becoming our place. We literally build HQ from the turf up.

2017-2019

Michael Amy

[MICHAEL & AMY] These two years are an incredible period of creation and destruction for us. We try things that work well, ditch things that did not work well, and surround ourselves with people that are instrumental for long-term growth.

HPS is growing and thriving. We figure iIf you're the best at what you do, you can’t be ignored.

2020

Michael-Amy

[MICHAEL & AMY] Everyone knows this part of the story.

amy

[AMY] The pandemic sweeps the rug out from underneath the speaking industry.

michael

[MICHAEL] We shift our programs online—but only temporarily. As believers in the power of performance, we bank on the idea that in-person events will come back with a vengeance.

It’s risky, but it’s what we believe in.

2021

amy

[AMY] The bet pays off. As lockdowns lift, cases slow, and vaccines become widely available,
we start hosting in-person trainings at HPS HQ once again. They’re a major success.

michael

[MICHAEL] But Mother Nature had other plans.

amy

[AMY] Yes, if the pandemic hadn’t been enough, HPS HQ is totally destroyed during Hurricane Ida.
Almost nothing is salvageable from the wreckage.

michael

[MICHAEL] To call this one of our hardest moments is a severe understatement. After over a year of the pandemic, we just didn’t have “HPS HQ destroyed in a hurricane” on our bingo card.

amy

[AMY] But here’s the thing: our alumni and our team surround us with an unbelievable amount of
love and support.

michael

[MICHAEL] And even with the pandemic, the fundamentals of our business remain strong.
So despite this unmitigated tragedy….

amy

[AMY] We’re back up and running—in only five weeks.

2022

Heroic Public Speaking is up, running, completely nominations-based and thriving every day.

Want to see for yourself? Check out our signature programs HPS CORE and HPS GRAD.

1990s

1999

2000s

2003

2005

2006

2010

2011

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2017-19

2020

2021

Today

HPS IN THE PRESS

10 Books Every Keynote
Speaker Should Read

Forbes 2021

How Can Virtual Presentations Replace Live Events In Ways That Answer an Audience’s Shifting Needs?

Forbes 2021

These Powerful Communication Techniques from Drama Schools will Elevate Your Performance at Work

Thrive Global (2019)

How to Excel at the Moments that Matter in Life: Think Like an Actor

TED (2019)

5 TED Talk Strategies to Be More Compelling at Work

Fortune (2019)

19 Public Speaking Tips to Find Success

Inc (2017)

3 Things Successful Speakers Do Before Going on Stage

Inc (2015)

Is Your Work Heroic, or Just Work?

Forbes (2015)

TEDx Cambridge

2012

NSA Talk

NSA Talk

2014

PODCAST INTERVIEWS

WANT MORE? YEAH, WE GET IT.