Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Train Like a Wizard, Not a Troll

Great online training is magic. The good news is that you only need to perfect two steps to train like a wizard–not a troll.

Step 1: Design

Learning outcomes

Create clear learning outcomes before doing anything else. They should say what the learner will be able to DO as a result of your session. State these aloud and upfront to your students. This helps guarantee how the session will benefit them.

Each outcome should sound something like: By the end of this session, you’ll be able to (VERB)…” Only use verbs that you could see or hear when the learner does them. You can use these to test for knowledge at the end of class.


  • Describe
  • Prioritize
  • List
  • Develop

Your outcomes are the stuff of magic for you as you develop the training. They clarify both the content and the activities to include.


After providing the content for each outcome, instruct the learners to do each outcome. For example, if you said they’d be able to “list the three steps of…” have them do that. Use breakout rooms, drawing tools, chat, etc. Certainly, you can include other activities as well. But be sure to have the students perform each outcome.

Step 2: Deliver

We’ve all seen how horrible we (and others) can look online. These five aspects will make you look GOOD while delivering your content.

  1. Place your computer on a stack of books or box so that the camera is above your eyes- nearly in line with the top of your head.
  2. Make sure your lighting comes from the front.
  3. Make eye contact by looking straight into the camera. This is tough to do, since it is natural to want to connect with learners’ faces and eyes. Remember that you’ll be looking MORE at them if you’re actually looking at the camera.
  4. Build in meaningful learner engagement throughout. Do at least one activity per outcome. Learners should be active at least 50% of the time.

The third optional element is TECH–make sure you use a technical producer to back you up. Know your program!

Use these steps of Design and Delivery and you’ll experience training magic.

See the textbook.

See Guila’s workshop.


One Response to “Train Like a Wizard, Not a Troll”

  1. Karen Dawn says:

    I am right in the middle of creating my first online class. It will be delivered using video on Thinkific, but I’m using Zoom and a beta team to help me as I go.

    I purchased your book years ago, dreaming about creating online classes. Only now am I doing this and this article really helps me nail down what I need to do.

    Engaging students online can be tricky and I fear I’ll start losing team members if I can’t find better ways to do this. Asking people to share get’s old, how might I better approach this so it feel new and fresh to my students?

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