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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Articles Tagged ‘Presentation Skills’

Be Honest! Are You a Facilitator or Trainer?

Be honest! You can really confuse your participants if YOU aren’t clear which role you are playing…trainer or facilitator?

Enthusiasm in Training

As a trainer or presenter, enthusiasm goes a long way in making you the best you can be. As your joy excites your participants, their energy rises to meet yours. People feel good. Work gets done. But what if your enthusiasm has taken a hit? How can you regain a sense of joy while giving…
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Focus on the Uncommitted in Your Audience

Presenters, do you fear waves of animosity coming from your audience? Or have you ever believed your audience to be friendly and accepting, only to receive a terrible shock? One of the best “Presenter Tricks” I know is to present as if everyone in your audience is “uncommitted”. Doing so allows you to effectively deal…
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Great Presenting: Enthusiasm or Entertainment?

Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. —Douglas MacArthur Teacher enthusiasm has long been identified as a behavior that positively effects student learning (Carlise & Phillips, 1984). However, with electronic devices competing for participants’ attention, should trainers and presenters strive not for enthusiasm, but instead to be more entertaining? It…
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Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Annoying Cliche or Truth?

I occasionally surprise myself by uttering the cliché above while encouraging a shy person to improve their presentation skills and confidence. I used to secretly kick myself for using such a hackneyed phrase—until I read Richard Wiseman’s great book, “As If.” In it, he cites dozens of studies showing that if we act a certain…
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Not Just Your Grandmother’s Pun!

My grandma was “word-clever” almost until the day she died. I especially remember her corny puns and plays on words, which made me both laugh and groan. Researchers Alan Seidman, of Johnson and Wales University, and Stephen C. Brown, of the University of Alaska, say “Puns are a humorous way to get adult learners to…
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The “I Don’t Feel Like Me” Blues

Have you taken a presentation skills course with me (Guila) and found yourself feeling strange, even “fake” as you practice unfamiliar behaviors? You may remember hearing my prompts during the session. They include: Use the Magic Circle! Own the Real Estate! Drop the Figleaf! Sternum Up, Shoulders Down! and even Show Your Body! Sometimes, my…
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Sabotaging Yourself as a Speaker

Recently, I had the honor to be an audience member instead of a presenter. By watching instead of doing, I got the opportunity to re-assess my beliefs about what makes speakers effective. Here’s what I noticed: 5 Ways Speakers Sabotage Themselves Mechanistic Movement I’ll be honest here. I’ve only noticed a case of “robot-arms” this…
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FEAR, Revisited: Manage Your Presentation Nerves!

Do your hands sweat at the mere idea of public speaking? Does your stomach flip-flop, your mind go blank? Four guidelines from professional speaking coaches will help. 1. Don’t hate your nerves. Remember that your goal is NOT to overcome fear. Your goal is to deliver an effective message. When you invest yourself fully in…
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Embracing “Figleaf”

Oh, if only I could advocate Figleaf, since it’s the favorite position of many of my clients. In my fantasy scenario, after giving Figleaf the thumbs up, I could also wholeheartedly endorse holding hands in pockets. locking hands in an “I’m handcuffed” position behind the body. fiddling with hair and clothing. I can only imagine…
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Transform Your Training With This Easy Tool

Does your training environment sometimes feel dull (or even dead) as you deliver content? Does the environment itself feel uninspired? Wouldn’t it be great to have a magic wand you could use to inject your training with energy! Such a “magic wand” exists. Called Pair and Share, it is arguably the easiest and most effective…
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Dive In!
Presenting and Open Water Swimming

I am an “adult onset” swimmer. Learning to swim at age 46, I trembled with the same anxieties as many of my Presentation Skills clients. I even heard myself describe my experience using the same words. Swimming was unnatural, awkward, unnerving, and out of my comfort zone. Twelve years after my first lesson,  I continue…
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Can a Room Kill You? Yes!

by Guila Muir info@guilamuir.com How to Ensure Your Physical Space Works For You, Not Against You Have you ever felt that something’s just not working right, no matter how well you know your material, how confident you came in, or how much you practiced? Have you ever felt, throughout your presentation, that something keeps pushing…
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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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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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