Fearless Facilitation – How to Engage and Involve Your Audience

As the workforce ages and younger trainers and managers emerge, facilitation skills take on a new importance and, with the increased use of social networks, new facilitation skills are needed. Written by two facilitation gurus, this book shows how to make any learning environment come alive. It outlines proven guidelines any trainer can use to unify groups, inspire creativity, and get audiences, teams, and colleagues to speak up, talk back, participate, and engage in meetings.

If you are a facilitator with years of experience or just getting started, you will learn what it takes to create and deliver a high-powered presentation that is tailor-made to draw in your audience members and get results every time. Once you set the stage to include and connect with your audience, you will trigger memory and action like never before.

Fearless Facilitation is filled with easy-to-implement presentation techniques designed to appeal to all types of participants. You will learn how to break the “fourth wall” (the invisible wall that separates you from the audience) and engage your audience through dialogue. In addition, the authors show not only how to involve participants in the conversation but also what to do when they grow silent or argumentative.

Throughout the book a personalized “coach” helps you with answers to common questions, specific scenarios, and past nightmare experiences. The coach helps to clarify the text, calm any fear, and take the next right step. And, to further illustrate how to become a skilled fearless facilitator, the book is peppered with interviews with masters of the craft of facilitation and engagement.

Praise for Fearless Facilitation

“Maxey and O’Connor inspire readers to engage with audiences as collaborators. Experienced facilitators will be motivated to take new risks; beginners will feel prepared to actively engage an audience.”

—Kathleen M. Galvin, Ph.D., Communication Studies Department, Northwestern University

Fearless Facilitation is a blockbuster resource for engaging even the most challenging audience with confidence and purpose.”

—Judy L. Schueler, Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System

“Through this book Maxey and O’Connor have actually facilitated a process for you to become a better facilitator. These two not only know what they’re doing, they’ve put together one of the most practical books on the market. Read it and then go facilitate something!”

—Ron Culberson, MSW, CSP, speaker, humorist and author of Do It Well. Make It Fun

208 Pages


10 Steps to Successful Time Management (Maxey & O’Connor, ASTD Press Oct 2010)

If you’re tired of scrambling frantically on the hamster wheel of life, maybe it’s time you jumped off and learned to really manage your time—and your life—so that you are in control of your own destiny. After all, life is all about time: How you use it, whether it controls you (or vice versa), and whether you get what you want from it.

The goal of this book is not to save you time (that can’t be done, as you’ll soon discover), but to save your life—the life you want to live while everything else is getting in your way. Although you’ll certainly find plenty of techniques and tactics for managing time, the ultimate purpose of this book is to help you figure out what is most important to you personally and professionally, so that you can use your time wisely and productively.

Whether you’re a career development specialist, trainer, coach, talent management professional, or a manager who simply wants to learn more about time management, 10 Steps to Successful Time Management can give you the tools you need to break out of unproductive patterns and take control of time and your life. You’ll learn how important it is to

  • break your addiction to activity and “busy-ness”
  • manage your energy and your focus
  • do the most important things first
  • create a task list that reflects your true priorities
  • use the “magic” of connection to work with others
  • change yourself so that you can change your actions and attitudes
  • contribute to your organization without being dominated by it.

As you master the art of self-regulation, you’ll find that you can control the parts of your life that can give you the results you want. And when you ask yourself “Who’s in charge of my life?,” you’ll know that the answer is the right one.

Give yourself the chance to reclaim your life. It’s about time!

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Speak Up! A Woman’s Guide To Presenting Like a Pro (St. Martin’s Press/NYC, 2008)

Endorsed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan: “Speak Up! is packed with savvy advice – any woman who wants to succeed in her career should read it!”

In SPEAK UP!, you’ll learn how to –

  • Deal with difficult colleagues
  • Speak on the spot
  • Use technology in support of your message
  • Sell your ideas with passion and power
  • Connect confidently with your superiors

238 pages

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Present Like A Pro Companion CD

NEW! October 2008

Present Like a Pro: More Tips and Techniques from the Road – a CD Companion to the Book.  Even MORE practical tips on how to present like a pro! This companion CD to the book Present Like a Pro, written and recorded by the authors Cyndi Maxey and Kevin E. O’Connor adds material not found in the book and includes personal stories with techniques the authors use to handle tough speaking scenarios. Provides over 53 minutes of clever conversation and ideas that will boost your ability to:

  • solicit useful feedback
  • deal with hecklers
  • gracefully handle A-V malfunctions
  • sell your point through audience participation
  • and evoke the power of your own life and work.

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Present Like a Pro: The Field Guide to Mastering the Art of Business, Professional, and Public Speaking (St. Martin’s Press/NYC, 2006)

Endorsed by Publishers Weekly … “Targeting managers, salespeople, professional speakers and even best men preparing wedding toasts, communications and leadership consultants, Maxey and O’Connor provide useful advice and moral support to anyone who is about to speak up. Through judicious peppering of personal stories, they demystify the near-universal fear of speaking in public, while offering potential speakers at all skill levels encouragement and practical advice.”

274 pages

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It’s Your Move: Dealing Yourself the Best Cards in Life and Work (FT/Prentice Hall, 2003)

Endorsed by the best-selling author of How to Work a Room, Susan Roane: It’s Your Move is filled with practical how-to’s to get you moving (yes, mingling, too) and achieving your goals. Play the 52 tip-filled cards suggested by Cyndi and Jill, and then share your success!”

Reviewed by Amy Lindgren, Minneapolis Star: Maxey and Bremer have structured motivational lessons about goal-setting around a fantasy card game. Each “hand,” consisting of two or more cards, focuses on a self-improvement topic such as learning, attitude and listening. The cards themselves are action steps to take in completing each chapter!

256 pages

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Training from the Heart: Developing your Natural Training Abilities to Inspire the Learner and Drive Performance on the Job (ASTD Press, 2000)

Lyerly, Barry and Cyndi Maxey, Training from the Heart: Developing Your Natural Training Abilities to Inspire the Learner and Drive Performance on the Job, ASTD, 2000.

“Best Seller…ASTD Publications 2001-2002”

This book shows its readers how to find their “training heart,” and then use this discovery to create a better climate for learning in which learners actually apply the lessons from the classroom to the job.

161 pages

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