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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Get Rid of Those Junk Words

We’ve all been driven crazy by a presenter who overuses words like “you know”, “um”, and “like”. Surprisingly, research finds that these filler words serve an valuable purpose. Using them helps a presenter transition to what he or she will say next, and audiences appreciate a little break between thoughts. However, let’s get back to…
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Training’s Biggest Schism

In my October newsletter, I asked “What’s going on with training?” More than 90 training professionals across the United States responded. THANKS to all who shared your experiences! Communities Got Clean Water, Thanks to YOU I promised to send a donation to the Global Women’s Water Initiative for each completed survey. Our collective donation helped to…
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What’s Going on With Training?

Hi, clients and readers. I have the strong sense–(and maybe YOU do, too)– that how people want to learn is changing. Please take this very quick survey so that I can learn about your training preferences. The survey will take you less than five minutes to complete. Two (Extremely) Cool Benefits of Taking the Survey…
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Presentation Tips From the Pet World

First off: I am emphatically NOT suggesting we treat our audiences like pets. But learning from our relationships with our pets CAN help us become better speakers. I spoke recently with a professional Animal Massage Therapist and adult educator. Together, we came up with the following five tips for improved public speaking. 1. You must…
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When YOU Are the Bored Trainer

We’ve all had bored trainers. They bore us through their lack of passion, of energy, of spark. But what happens when YOU deliver the same training over and over and over again? How do you keep it fresh? 5 Tips That Refresh 1. Remember the “Turf” That Comes With Being a Professional The ability to…
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3 Tips to Improve Your Meetings

(since we can’t get rid of them altogether) If you feel a chill of dread at the prospect of leading or participating in a meeting, you are not alone. 71% of managers say meetings are unproductive and inefficient. Studies show that the more meetings we attend, the worse we feel about ourselves and our jobs.…
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Smiling, Presenting, and Chopsticks

The car in front of me pokes along at 20 miles per hour. I clench the steering wheel as I try to push down my road rage. The concept of “steam coming out of my ears” feels very real… And then I suddenly, falsely, crazily, I bark out the word “JOY!” and force a grossly…
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Can a Room Kill You? Yes!

Presenters, prevent “Death by Room”! These three tips will help ensure your physical space works with you instead of against you.

Mini-Van or Ferrari for Presenters?

To go shopping, would you use a minivan or Ferrari? What if you were going to race? The choice is a no-brainer. Yet when speaking publicly, many of us want to take a minivan when we should be gearing up to drive a Ferrari. The Role of Adrenaline in Peak Performance Driving a Ferrari takes…
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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?

“Information Only” Presentations Don’t Exist

Do you think your data should speak for itself? Guess what, it doesn’t. These two presentation tips ensure that your audience cares about your message.

Elevate Your Training! Assessing Training Skills in Your Organization

I have been fascinated with the question “What makes a great trainer (or adult educator)”? for years. Through exploring research, examining my own practice, and evaluating hundreds of other trainers, I formulated a set of effective training behaviors. I used these behaviors as the basis for an assessment tool called Elevate Your Training! Assessing Training…
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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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Presentation Disaster Zone: A True Story

Who wants to feel exposed and inept in front of an audience? No one! Yet recently, I observed a presenter obviously wish she could disappear…all for the lack of a sound check. This speaker had plenty of important content to deliver. The press was buzzing and there was excitement in the room. She was introduced,…
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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…
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