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Guila Muir

Developing trainers, presenters and facilitators to make a difference

Blog Posts to Boost Your Skills

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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How to Get People Involved in Training?

What’s the best way to assure your training participants groan inwardly and “turn off” the first second you open your mouth? Simply by following conventional wisdom about how to open a training session: introduce yourself and provide your credentials. Instead, generate curiosity, interest and motivation from the outset. Use a “Hook” before introducing yourself. Three…
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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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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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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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