(206) 725-1994

Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Blog Posts to Boost Your Skills

The Myth of the Facilitator

Here’s a pet peeve of mine: Adult educators who call themselves “Facilitators”…and then go on to give a traditional, one-sided, PowerPoint-heavy training session. I estimate that 87.5% of trainers who call themselves “facilitators” are lying. Why? Because they model few skills of facilitation. Well Then, What is a Facilitator? A facilitator is content-neutral. Because of…
Read the full article »

Presenters, Love Your Struggles

If you’re like me, sometimes it’s hardest to love and accept yourself when you make a mistake. I was shocked when, years ago, a Presentation Skills client started an “anti-self” diatribe with the words “I condemn myself for…” I had never heard someone treat themselves with such harshness…at least out loud. WHY do we presenters,…
Read the full article »

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…
Read the full article »

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…
Read the full article »

Get ‘Em Moving!

Anyone who jogs regularly will tell you that they feel sharper both emotionally and mentally after a run. But did you know that when you exercise also “pumps up” learning? The science is clear. Not only can exercise work at least as well as antidepressants to improve moods, it improves people’s learning ability. One recent…
Read the full article »

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…
Read the full article »

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…
Read the full article »

How to “Pump Up” What Students Remember

As a trainer, have you ever wondered why information you provide often doesn’t “stick?” Memory is more complicated than most of us think. Take this quiz to find out what you already know. True or False? 1. Learners who can perform a new learning task well are likely to retain it. (T/F) 2. Immediate memory…
Read the full article »

When a Trainer Is a Presenter: Five Top Platform Skills

Great trainers must be great presenters as well. I believe that participants learn most from highly active classes that imbed great design and content. However, I also know that the trainer’s presentation skills can help or hinder learning. What are Platform Skills? Platform skills are presentation behaviors that a trainer uses to transmit content effectively.…
Read the full article »

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…
Read the full article »