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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Articles to Boost Your Presentation Skills

Electronic Devices in the Classroom

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com I stood over the two participants, saying loudly, “No! No! No!” At first, they were so immersed in their screens that they didn’t even know I was there. As they returned to the present world, their faces changed from screen-fascination to shock. What was I doing, looming above them, looking so…
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The Curse of Knowledge

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com Think of a skill you have, (such as driving, swimming, writing, reading…) Would you say you are unconsciously competent with this skill? That is, Can you do it without thinking about it? Is it part of you, like an instinct? Would you have a hard time explaining the steps of this…
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Difficult People Versus Difficult Dynamics

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com I have a message for trainers, facilitators and presenters. I know that you sometimes stay awake at night worrying about how to respond if an audience member challenges you, if participants lock horns, or when a meeting or training session gets just plain thorny. To address your insomnia, you may have…
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Presenting From the Seat of Your Pants

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com The Problem With Sitting Do you often sit while presenting? You can lose a great deal of speaking power that way, for the following reasons: 1. Half your body, with its eloquent capacity for language, is hidden. 2. Often, your hands are trapped under the table. 3. Your internal organs are…
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Your Biggest Gift as a Speaker

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com Does this sound like you? “I’m a fine communicator one-on-one, but put me in front of a group and I just die!” Why is it easier for many of us to present in front of a few people than to a larger audience? Why do many of us believe that some…
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How a Hook Can Save Your Presentation

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com I have discovered that my clients all love a good hook, and are always looking for new ones. Let’s review what a Hook is and isn’t. Then I’ll provide two dynamic Hooks for you to use in your next presentation or training session. What a Hook ISN’T: Fluff. Never make the…
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5 Ways to Energize Your Presentations

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com What’s the difference between presenting and training? Think about it. Presentations are usually delivered one way, from speaker to audience. Their primary role is to deliver information. Training sessions, on the other hand, not only build skills, but are interactive. Participants do things in training. They talk to each other and…
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Four Gender-Specific Presentation Blunders

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com Is it true that men tend to make certain types of blunders while presenting, and women others? In my experience, yes. I have worked with hundreds of individuals and single-sex groups, and notice recurring, gender-specific behaviors that sabotage presentations. In the interest of advancing further research, I submit these very common…
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Does Smiling Help or Hurt Presenters?

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com The actual answer to this question, based upon many studies and years of research, is “it depends.” How Smiling Helps The act of smiling changes our brain chemistry for the better. An authentic smile can: Boost mood and confidence by increasing serotonin, norepinephrine and endorphins. Lower heart rate, and Reduce anxiety.…
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The 12 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language

All effective presentations change the ways people think or act. Think about it—even if you are “just” presenting data, you’re doing it for a reason. You want people to use the data to change something! Every effective presentation persuades the listener. Certain words persuade people more effectively than others. Going back to 1963, expert speakers…
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Stand and Deliver!

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com Are you serious about wanting to increase your dynamism, power and energy as a speaker? Then you must stand up when you present. Andy Eklund, a presentation skills expert, tells us: “The vast majority of people are at least 50% less dynamic when sitting down, because their body movements are halved…
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Communication and Leadership

How does leadership look and sound? Adam Bryan distills thousands of years of leadership experience of successful CEOs in his new book, “The Corner Office.” Practice the following phrases in your workplace. Soon, you’ll feel comfortable practicing the underlying behavior as well. 1. Passionate Curiosity What it looks like: Engagement with the world, relentless questioning…
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Present With Purpose

To ensure a successful presentation every time, presenters should start by developing a clear, concise purpose statement. The purpose statement serves two important roles. It helps keep you focused and on track as you develop the presentation. It also helps your audience focused on your message from the get-go. Before you present: Clarifying the purpose…
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3 Rules for Excellent Presentations

I was excited to find John Medina’s great book, Brain Rules, in the San Francisco airport bookstore in 2009. The book is incredibly readable and valuable to trainers and presenters. I was thrilled most of all to see that Medina provides research to support 3 rules I’ve shared in my Train the Trainer classes for…
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Presentation Skills: How to Prevent “Drowning”

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com These skills will keep you afloat. There are many parallels between swimming in open water (the English call it “wild swimming”) and giving a great presentation. These skills will keep you afloat, no matter how choppy the water. 1. Be totally present. When I swim, my focus is completely on what…
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