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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Blog Posts to Boost Your Skills

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…
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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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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…
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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.…
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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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Which Is More Important? How You Design or How You Present?

After observing trainers for years, I realized one counter-intuitive, yet powerful, truth. Design (the way you organize your training session or presentation) often trumps “how” you present it in terms of effectiveness. That is, the rational, linear, and creative planning you used to develop your session may ensure your success MORE than the way you…
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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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How to Keep Meetings Active and Productive

As a facilitator, you are responsible for achieving the meeting outcomes, maintaining full participation, and ending on time. How do you maintain meaningful, focused conversation throughout? These five tips will help. 1.  Playback. Reiterate what a participant has said as closely as you can. Try not to infer meaning.“Greg, I’m hearing you say that you…
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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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