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Name ten parts of the human body which only have three letters each. (Hint: at least five parts are above the neck and five are below.)

Quiz yourself, then check the answers at right.

To pump up energy in your next training session, make this a competition between groups.
Answers to “Speaking of Bodies…”
Above the neck: Eye, Lip, Ear, Jaw, Gum, Lid, (as in eyelid).
Below the Neck: Leg, Arm, Toe, Hip, Rib.

How Do You Know They Know? Evaluating Adult Learning

How can you evaluate training effectiveness? “Happy Sheets” don’t go far. Outcome-based evaluations meet criteria in Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model.

Learn more about evaluating adult learning

Mature students learning computer skills

How Do You Know They Know? Evaluating Adult Learning

by Guila Muir

I con­tinue to be sur­prised at the use of “Happy Sheets” as eval­u­a­tion tools in train­ing. Beyond let­ting the trainer know if he or she was loved and if the room was too cold, what else do they tell us?

In 1959, Don­ald Kirk­patrick devel­oped his famous model of train­ing eval­u­a­tion. Since then, it has pro­vided basic guide­lines to assess learn­ing. Experts have found that 85% or more of all train­ing pro­grams use “Happy Sheets,” which reveal noth­ing about actual learn­ing. And because data is much harder to col­lect and attribute directly to the train­ing the deeper you go, fewer than 10% of train­ing pro­grams use a Level 4 evaluation.



Ques­tion Answered




How Well Did They Like The Course? Rat­ing Sheets



How Much Did They Learn? Tests, Sim­u­la­tions



How Well Did They Apply It To Work? Per­for­mance Measures


                  Results What Return Did The Train­ing Invest­ment Yield? Cost-Benefit Analy­sis (Return on Investment)

Outcome-Based Eval­u­a­tions

By cre­at­ing and using an eval­u­a­tion based on the course’s learn­ing out­comes, you may get closer to an hon­est answer to the ques­tion, How Do You Know They Know? which is eval­u­a­tion at Level 2 of Kirkpatrick’s model. Typ­i­cally, the outcome-based eval­u­a­tion would ask par­tic­i­pants to rate their own abil­ity to per­form the learn­ing out­come, as in the fol­low­ing example:

As a result of this train­ing, please rate your abil­ity to do the fol­low­ing action from 1 (“I can’t do this at all”) to 5 (“I feel totally con­fi­dent doing this”): “I can explain at least five fea­tures of the Get Fit pro­gram with­out using notes.”

In many cases, the outcome-based eval­u­a­tion would also ask the par­tic­i­pant to list or explain those five features–in this way, act­ing as a test.

Keep in mind that unless you ask addi­tional ques­tions, you are still sim­ply col­lect­ing data on your par­tic­i­pants’ per­cep­tions of their own learn­ing. Sadly, those per­cep­tions of learn­ing are usu­ally much higher imme­di­ately after the train­ing ses­sion than a few days or weeks later. This is why follow-up train­ing and rein­force­ment is so important.

Nonethe­less, using an Outcome-Based Eval­u­a­tion can pro­vide infor­ma­tion on:

  • Per­for­mance issues about which the par­tic­i­pants feel less confident.
  • Issues you could improve or clar­ify for the next round of training.

All of this data is valu­able to you as you (1) improve the class itself, and (2) fol­low the par­tic­i­pants into the work­place to observe and sup­port them. We invite you to down­load free exam­ples of Out­come Based Eval­u­a­tions from Guila’s book, Instruc­tional Design That Soars.

If Vibes Could Kill…

How to Handle Those Difficult Dynamics

A question I get often from clients is “What’s the best way of dealing with participants who are resistant or outright hostile?”

When I ask them “How many participants is that in a typical audience?” the answer is usually “one is enough,” or “none yet, but I know I’ll get them!” Although our fear of hostility in an audience is real, it may take on bigger-than-life proportions. The best presenters are authentic in front of an audience, and therefore personally exposed. That, I believe, is the source of the fear.

I cut my teeth with resistant audiences a few years ago. I designed and presented mandatory classes in supervisory skills for law enforcement professionals in one big-city department. Imagine the crossed arms, squeaking leather and flat affect as the cops leaned back in their chairs and gave me the “vibe!”

This three-year experience boosted my abilities to deal effectively with resistance. I grew thicker skin, became more detached and better grounded. Of course, it was also essential to know my stuff and present with authority and reason. The experience was extremely helpful to my development as a presenter.

Resistant dynamics can be found in any audience. Here are three essential techniques to address it effectively.

Three Steps to Deal With Difficult Dynamics

1. Check Yourself. 
Most of our fear as presenters is actually about us. Ask yourself: What am I feeling about this audience? Why? What’s the worst that could happen? How can I get internally balanced and grounded before getting up in front of them?

Prepare yourself emotionally and physically. Make sure you’ve had enough to eat, and plenty of water. If you find yourself going “on stage” expecting the worst and/or not being prepared for as many questions and challenges as possible, you do yourself and your audience a miserable disservice.

2. Don’t Try to “Fix” People.
Your goal is to present to the best of your ability. It is not your goal to “fix” people’s behaviors. In my experience, a participant acting in a hostile or resistant way is a symptom of underlying problems and anxieties in the group. Even if that particular person were to magically disappear, the resistant energy will likely be taken up and voiced by someone else. Acknowledge and respect the dynamics in the room. Detach from them.

3. Present as if Everyone Were Uncommitted.
I borrow from Don Pfarrer’s book, Guerilla Persuasion, for this third tip. I’ve found it incredibly helpful, and so have my clients.

Assume that in every audience, there are those who are friendly to you and your message, those that are hostile, those that are indifferent and those that are simply uncommitted. Addressing the Uncommitted segment provides a sensible strategy to deal with the many simultaneous crosscurrents in the audience.

You’ll only be able to reach the Uncommitted by speaking in tones of moderation, patience, good cheer and reason. You won’t have to feel apprehensive about waves of animosity coming your way, nor tempted to cut corners by assuming support where it might not exist.

All Audience Segments Benefit When You Focus on the Uncommitted.

Audience Segment What Do They Want from the Experience? Dangers of Focusing Only on This Segment? How This Segment Benefits When You Focus on the Uncommitted
“Friendlies” Satisfaction, affinity. Perhaps a pep-talk. Too easy – you may assume too much. Their knowledge and commitment is deepened.
“Hostiles” To see you fail. To hear you say something ill-natured or wrong. Increases your own nervousness and defensiveness. You may come off abrasively and unlikable. They experience human respect, openness and reason from you (and are likely to mirror the behavior.)
“Indifferents” To be left alone and unchanged. To the exclusion of the rest of the audience, you may tie yourself up into knots trying get a response. They may get the message, while not being hammered by you.
“Uncommitteds” To experience a reasoned, well-thought-out, good-natured exposure to the issues. NONE! They get the best of YOU: affinity and reason.YOU won’t cut corners by assuming support where it might not exist.YOU are forced to construct and present your message thoroughly, persuasively and with confidence.

The bottom line is: KNOW YOUR STUFF. Be ready for questions and challenges. By checking yourself, not trying to “fix” audience members, and focusing on the Uncommitted, you take great strides towards more resiliency and effectiveness as a presenter.

Read more articles about Presentation Skills. Learn about Guila Muir’s Presentation Skills Workshops.

Guila Muir is the premiere trainer of trainers, facilitators, and presenters on the West Coast of the United States. Since 1994, she has helped thousands of professionals improve their training, facilitation, and presentation skills. Find out how she can help transform you from a boring expert to a great presenter:

© 2007 Guila Muir. All rights reserved.
You may make copies of this article and distribute in any media so long as you change nothing, credit the author, and include this copyright notice and web address.

Get your participants involved with this tip

A great article about how to get people involved immediately in your training sessions and presentations:  What is a hook?  Keep you presentations exciting, engaging, active with Guila Muir’s Kite Method of Instructional Design. Instructional Design That Soars is the textbook of choice when learning how to develop presentations, webinars, classes that will inspire your students.iStock_000013091322XSmall-256x300

These characteristics can be developed through attitude, habit and discipline

instructional design qualities

If you are an emerging leader, read more about the mind-set of these phrases.

You don’t need a certificate in instructional design to create great classes.

Instructional Design That Soars: Kite Method of Designing Classes

You don’t need a certificate in instructional design to create great classes. The Kite Method makes it easy.

Three Tips for Course Design

Three Tips for Course Design

If you’re serious about designing a state-of-the-art course for adults, keep these simple guidelines in mind.

Design your course so that it is:

Activity-based, not materials-based.
Problem-posing, not answer-giving.
A smorgasbord, not a one-dish meal.


Manage Your Presentation Nerves!

FEAR, Revisited: Manage Your Presentation Nerves!

AfraidDo 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 your message, fear takes a back seat.

2. Be able to clearly state your presentation‘s purpose.
Your nerves will undermine you if you’re not able to state the purpose in one short sentence, starting with “The purpose of my presentation is to…”

In the words of Dianna Booher, an international communications skills expert: “If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.”

3. Work That Heart. 
Cardiovascular fitness acts as an “anxiety shield.”  Whatever physical exercise you like, do it, and do it regularly. Your lowered blood pressure, heightened endurance, and increased oxygen flow will protect you against an attack of nerves.

4. Do it over and over. The best way to feel calm and confident is to practice your presentation multiple times, OUT LOUD, both by yourself and in the “real world.”

Use these four suggestions as you prepare for your next presentation. The antidote to nervousness is not “out there” somewhere…the keys are already inside of you.

The kite flies because it has a tail

active closure

Subject Matter Experts

subject matter experts

This book will make developing and presenting easy. The Kite Method by Guila Muir makes it easy to turn your presentations into inspiring and engaging learning lessons.kite-book-1

Learn more here

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