What a Weekend! Turpin Cares Rocked it for the Homeless

February 22, 2017 in News, Turpin’s Culture

Turpin Cares volunteers gather to assemble winter care packages

Turpin Cares is a project sponsored by Turpin Communication to help the homeless in Chicago.

Each quarter our employees and “friendlies” get together to assemble Care Packages for distributing to those who are less fortunate than us.

Last weekend, we assembled twenty-five care packages. Each one contains non-perishable food, health and hygiene products, and hand-knit hats and scarves. We envision a future when we’ll be able to make many more packages, so to that end, we held a knitting class all day Saturday! In one of the pictures below, you can see several of our staff members (and others) learning some new mad skills! In all, we learned to knit, purl, cast on, and fix mistakes. The hands-down favorite new skill, though, was turning mistakes into design features!

The next time we get together will be May 6. The packages we make at that time will include summer-time necessities such as insect repellent and sun screen. All of these new knitters will keep on knitting though. We’ll use what they make next fall and winter.

Want to get involved? We’d love to have you. You may donate items for the care packages, hand-knit hats and scarves, or your time. Cash donations are also accepted. Email info@turpincommunication.com and we’ll send more information.

Enjoy these photos of our amazing volunteers!

And most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who helped out. Maybe you sent items, knit or crocheted, donated cash, fed us while we worked, or helped entertain us. Whatever you donated, Dale and Greg (Turpin’s owners) would like to extend a heart-felt thank you.

Signing cards for Turpin Cares winter care packages

 

Ann volunteered to assemble Turpin Cares packages for the homelessGreg Owen-Boger teaches a knitting class to Turpin Cares volunteers

Turpin Cares put together 25 care packages for the homeless in Chicago

Announcing Turpin Cares: a project to help Chicago’s homeless

January 17, 2017 in Author, Dale Ludwig, News, Turpin’s Culture


Turpin Cares is a philanthropic project sponsored by Turpin Communication

Greg Owen-Boger gathers packages donations for Turpin CaresSince 1992, Turpin Communication has been dedicated to helping our clients and their employees improve their communication skills. In these 25 years, we’ve always looked for ways to improve the services we provide. As part of our 25th anniversary year, we’re looking at new ways to improve, which is why we’re pleased to announce Turpin Cares.

Turpin Cares is a side project that’s dedicated to reallocating some of our good fortune and spare resources toward making the community where we live and work a better place. Here in Chicago, unfortunately, there’s a significant problem with homelessness, and too many people are in need of basic necessities and comfort.

Turpin Cares began to take shape in December 2015, coming from an idea by Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s VP, and his good friend Olive. At the time, it was something Greg and Olive did outside of their work. Chicago winters are cold, and Greg and Olive wanted to give out hand-knit hats and scarves to people in need. That idea evolved into assembling care packages including the hand-knit hats and scarves in addition to some basic food and hygiene items that could be handed out quickly and easily. Greg and Olive assembled bags and kept the small stock of them in their cars so they could give one away if they passed someone in need.

That first year, they made 10 packages. In 2016, they made 25. In 2017 we created Turpin Cares because we know that by creating a company-wide effort, we can do even more. So, on a regular basis, our employees and friends of Turpin will gather to assemble these care packages for distribution around Chicago — both via local shelters and handing them out one-on-one as we always have.

Each care package is loaded into a reusable tote and contains:

  • Items to provide comfort, including hand-knit hats and scarves, socks, and gloves (in the winter months)
  • Packaged food
  • Items to help with hygiene and first aid

Turpin Cares collects donations for the homeless
There’s a lot of work to do, and we’d love to have your help! If you’re interested, there are a number of ways you can get involved.

You can:

  • Sign up for our contact list to be notified of specific needs, work parties, and other announcements.
  • Donate money so we can purchase supplies for the packages (this project is not yet a non-profit venture, so donations aren’t tax-deductible, but we guarantee that 100% of donations will go toward the purchase of supplies).
  • Knit or crochet hats and scarves yourself and send them to us! We’ll add them to our next distribution as soon as they’re received. Send them any time, but the sooner the better!
  • Donate yarn. We’re knitting ourselves, and building a list of other knitters. Almost any type of yarn will work, except we’ve been advised to steer clear of 100% wool. Wool shrinks and that’s not good.
  • Donate care package items. We have assembled a list of items that go into our care packages, and you can drop those items off at our offices (if you’re in the area), or ship them to us (if you’re not).
  • Volunteer to assemble packages. We’re planning to do this assembly once a quarter this year, and our next assembly is scheduled for February 18, 2017.

We believe that we have a responsibility to help those who are less fortunate, and we’d love to have your help growing this initiative. We believe that even seemingly small things can make a real difference. We see it in the eyes of the people we help.

If you have any questions, or would like to get involved in other ways, please email greg@TurpinCommunication.com

A special thanks to Matt Brett from Substance for donating his time to create the Turpin Cares logo.

by Dale Ludwig, President & Founder of Turpin Communication and co-author of the book, “The Orderly Conversation”

Kindle and Nook Join The Orderly Conversation Family

June 29, 2015 in Dale Ludwig, Greg Owen-Boger, News, Talent Development, The Orderly Conversation

After receiving enthusiastic reviews from organizations such as The San Francisco Book Review, The Portland Book Kindle is hereReview, and Kirkus Reviews, authors Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger are delighted to be able to offer The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined on the Kindle and Nook platforms.

“We’ve been receiving inquiries from overseas, so having the Kindle and Nook versions available will make it a lot more convenient for readers in Europe, India, and Asia,” said Ludwig.

About The Orderly Conversation®

The Orderly Conversation is a groundbreaking resource for business presenters.

It offers a new approach to the getting-business-done presentations you deliver—an approach that’s tailored to be appropriate for the real world of business and practical for every type of presenter and presentation.

The business presentations you deliver are not static or one-way. They are an exchange of information that has much more in common with informal conversations than formal speeches. They require a preparation process that looks ahead to the conversation that will take place and a delivery process that is flexible and responsive.

Our goal with this book is to call out many traditional assumptions about what it takes to succeed and replace them with something better.

The complete Orderly Conversation family includes:

The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined

The Orderly Conversation: A Field Guide

The Orderly Conversation is published by Granville Circle Press.

______________________________________________
ABOUT GRANVILLE CIRCLE PRESS

Granville Circle Press (Minneapolis) publishes works in the communication arts, including Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference, selected by Kirkus Reviews “Best of 2012.” info@granvillecirclepress.com. The Orderly Conversation, ISBN 978-0-9838703-2-6 $21.95

ABOUT TURPIN COMMUNICATION

Turpin Communication (Chicago) was founded in 1992 to provide the best presentation and facilitation skills training available anywhere. Since then, it has helped business presenters in a broad range of industries and organizations focus on the skills and techniques that help them succeed. Authors Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger are available for media interviews, keynote addresses, and speaking at conferences and corporate meetings. http://theorderlyconversation.com/wordpress/speaking/

3 Surprising Branding Insights: Lessons Learned While Away From the Office

February 17, 2015 in Author, Greg Owen-Boger, Presentation, Talent Development, Training

Last week brought me a whirlwind of exciting professional experiences. I started it by speaking at the Training Magazine Conference & Exposition in Atlanta and ended it when I moderated a panel on leadership for Kendall College in Chicago.

While I could probably write several articles based on my observations, the thing that sticks out the most for me is personal branding, or should I say INTENTIONAL personal branding.

We Are All Broadcasters
The conference started with a keynote by Michelle Gielan and her husband, Shawn Achor. Michelle started her professional life as a news broadcaster for CBS and has built her career as an “expert in the science of happiness and human potential.” During her speech she said, “We are all broadcasters.” She went on to explain that everything we do and say paints a picture of who we are and that we’d better make sure, as the professionals that we are, that what we’re broadcasting is intentional. I couldn’t agree more.

What struck me, though, is that her speech was canned and uninspiring. She was well-rehearsed, and entirely bereft of human charm.

trnmag_JRDon’t be an Equal Opportunity Offender
The following day, John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on Cheers, also spoke. Wikipedia (I know, I know …) describes his character like this:

Cliff became known for his outlandish stories of plausible half-truths, uninteresting trivia, and misinformation, and in general for being a pretentious blowhard.

As it turns out, at least from what I witnessed during his divisive hour-long speech, his personal brand isn’t too far removed from the character he played for 11 years on Cheers. Through his stories of days gone by, he skewered parents, grandparents, hippies, millennials (especially millennials), child-protection laws, Hillary Clinton, the right wing, the left wing, and everyone in between. Mr. Ratzenberger, from what we experienced, is an equal opportunity offender. And proud of it.

From the back of the room, I looked on in amazement as people left the ballroom in droves. As it turns out, many of my fellow Learning & Development colleagues didn’t appreciate his tone or his rambling message. I didn’t appreciate it either, but when there’s a train wreck of this magnitude, it’s hard for me to look away.

Ratzenberger is a well-rehearsed speaker on the circuit. His anti-everything-but-me-and-the-good-old-days yammering was not an accident. But I have to ask: Was it really his intention to come off as an unlikable, crotchety old man? Intentional or not, that’s what we experienced. My mother taught me that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Guess that’s one lesson he failed to learn during his sepia-toned childhood.

My breakfast companion the following morning said it best when she said, “Everyone I spoke to had one word to describe his speech: inappropriate.” Some brand indeed.

Hospitality Students Get it Right
Thursday I had the honor of moderating a panel discussion at Kendall College in Chicago. Kendall is a small college focused on the hospitality industry. Think hotel, restaurant, customer service, and concierge. And these people practice what they preach. I was met at the door by a student who was my personal concierge for the day. “May I take your coat, your bag? Would you like something other than water?” These people get it right.

greg_owen-boger_hi-res_colorThe panel I was to moderate a few moments later was made up of 3 leaders in the hospitality sector: a hotel concierge, a restaurant-conglomerate thought leader, and the “sales manager of the year” for a huge food distributor. The panel was fun and educational for everyone who attended. What’s worth noting, however, is the way these students handled themselves. For an hour-and-a-half: no slouching, no doodling, certainly no phones or tablets. They were well dressed, presented themselves with pride, and took notes with pens on real pieces of paper.

Afterward, they hung around to talk. This was not just idle chit chat; they engaged in real conversation. They were eager, yet respectful. Curious. Thoughtful.

I’m not sure if the students were intentional about their brand or not, but they certainly were genuine broadcasters in the most enjoyable way. And guess what, John Ratzenberger? They were all millennials. You know, the ones you called lazy and lacking common sense …

by Greg Owen-Boger, VP at Turpin Communication and co-author of the book, “The Orderly Conversation”

4 Ways to Avoid Being a Soul-crushing Facilitator

September 2, 2014 in Author, Facilitation, Greg Owen-Boger

greg_owen_boger_300Last weekend I was reminded yet again of how poorly people understand the art of facilitating group discussions.

Backstory
I participated in a meeting made up of leaders of various professional organizations in Chicago. Our goal was to identify ways for us to work better together.

I was seated at a table of four and I had just met the other three leaders in my group. Three questions that we were to discuss were printed on a table tent. Several other leaders were seated in similar configurations around the room. We were all given the same questions to discuss. The meeting organizer explained what we were all to do, gave us 15 minutes to do it, and said, “go.”

Our discussion started just fine. One of my table partners selected herself to be our group’s leader. She skillfully went around the table asking for input on the first question. She did a nice job opening the door for us to contribute. The conversation soon took on a life of its own. Ideas were discussed and improved upon. All four of us talked and listened. Notes were taken. Things were going great. “I’m glad I got up early on a Saturday morning to attend this meeting,” I thought.

But then things went south. The meeting organizer walked up to our table to announce it was time to move on to the second question. “We have to stay on task and on schedule,” she said, as if to reprimand us for something we had done wrong.

The air went out of our discussion. We weren’t done with the first question, and truth be told, we’d already started discussing the second question, because it was closely related to the first.

“Where were we?” the guy across from me asked. No one knew. We’d lost momentum. The group organizer had stomped on our discussion. There were rules to follow. It was time to move on.

In her desire to keep things moving along, she actually harmed the results of our discussion. Her interruption made it clear (unintentionally, I’m sure) that rules trumped quality outcomes.

We tried to play along, and the group eventually got back on track, but we lost a few minutes as we recovered from the unwelcomed (and completely unnecessary) interruption.

The Facilitator of a Discussion Has Two Goals
Where the meeting organizer and facilitator of the day went wrong is in failing to understand the basics of group facilitation. She’s not alone. We see this sort of thing all around us.

In our presentation and facilitation skills workshops, we use this teeter-totter image to describe what needs to happen when you’re facilitating a discussion.

You have to balance two goals:encourage control 9-1-14

  1. The first goal is related to content. You need to exert enough control over the group to meet your meeting objectives.
  2. The second goal, which is where we see the most need for improvement, is to create the conditions for a fruitful discussion by encouraging group participation.

The meeting organizer last weekend exerted too much pressure on the control side and crushed our discussion. It’s as if she jumped on the control side of the teeter-totter, flinging us off. Eventually we brushed ourselves off and climbed back on, but at the expense of efficiency and our good will.

There are 4 Skills to Master
Learning to balance these goals takes practice, but it can be learned.

  1. First, you have to understand and accept the dynamics of the process, that discussions need to be controlled and encouraged.
  2. Second, you have to learn to be flexible and recognize that sometimes what’s happening in the moment is more fruitful than sticking to a plan.
  3. In order to do that, facilitators need to listen fearlessly. This is something our meeting organizer did not do. She interrupted our conversation, and exerted control over it without listening to where we were in the process.
  4. And finally, you need to learn to think on your feet. You need to be able to make split-second decisions that are for the good of the group and the meeting objective.

There are other skills we could talk about, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll leave it there. What are your thoughts?

by Greg Owen-Boger, VP at Turpin Communication and co-author of the book, “The Orderly Conversation”

New Book Redefines Presentations as Orderly Conversations

August 26, 2014 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Greg Owen-Boger, News, The Orderly Conversation

The Orderly Conversation is a groundbreaking book for business presenters who need to get business done.

(MINNEAPOLIS)

The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined, by Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger, is a book that promises to change the way business presenters think about the everyday presentations they deliver. The authors, communication experts with Turpin Communication (Chicago), offer a revolutionary approach that turns the old “Public Speaking 101” model on its head.

“The 101 model has been causing trouble for business people for years,” said Ludwig. He should know. He taught Public Speaking courses at the University of Illinois early in his career and has been working with business presenters since 1989.

“Traditional methods focus on ‘speechmaking.’ Speeches are a type of performance, something that can be rehearsed and perfected. Business presenters need something fundamentally different because delivering a speech will not help them close a complex deal, reach alignment with a team, or gather feedback on a broken process.”

What business presenters need, say the authors, is a new way to think about how they prepare for and deliver what they call “Orderly Conversations.” Developed through years as presentation trainers, this change in approach dramatically improves and empowers their clients’ communication skills.

“Most presenters knew they weren’t delivering formal speeches, but the assumptions they were making and strategies they used didn’t reflect that,” says Owen-Boger. “Thinking of presentations as conversations changes everything: from preparation and delivery, through managing interactions, to how you judge your success when it’s all over.” 

Published July 15 of this year, The Orderly Conversation has already begun gaining momentum. “Spread the word, gentlemen. If I had my way, your text would be required reading in every business school in the land,” wrote Robert Lane, Director, Aspire Communications.

Granville Circle Press calls their latest offering “eminently practical; real-world advice for the real world of business.” The Orderly Conversation is available now at www.theorderlyconversation.com, amazon.com and other online book retailers.

ABOUT GRANVILLE CIRCLE PRESS

Granville Circle Press (Minneapolis) publishes works in the communication arts, including “Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference,” selected by Kirkus Reviews “Best of 2012.” info@granvillecirclepress.com [website link] The Orderly Conversation, ISBN 978-0-9838703-2-6 $21.95

ABOUT TURPIN COMMUNICATION

Turpin Communication (Chicago) was founded in 1992 to provide the best presentation and facilitation skills training available anywhere. Since then it has helped business presenters in a broad range of industries and organizations focus on the skills and techniques that help them succeed. Authors Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger are available for media interviews, keynote addresses, and to speak at conferences and corporate meetings. http://theorderlyconversation.com/wordpress/speaking/

Contact

Kyle Carlson
Granville Circle Press
+1 612-229-8896
Email

Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger
Turpin Communication
773-239-2523
Email

New Communication Guide Offers a Game-Changing Approach to Business Presentations

April 16, 2014 in Delivery, Facilitation, News, Preparation, Presentation, Talent Development, The Orderly Conversation, Training, Uncategorized

Granville Circle Press announces the July 2014 publication of “The Orderly Conversation,” a groundbreaking resource for business presenters.

News Release – PDF

PrintGranville Circle Press announced today the publication of “The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined” by Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger, a book that promises to change the way business presenters think about the “getting-business-done” presentations they deliver. The authors, communication experts with Turpin Communication (Chicago), offer a revolutionary approach that turns the old “Public Speaking 101” model on its head.

“Much of what’s taught about business presentations needs to be replaced,” says Ludwig. “Traditional methods focus on ‘speechmaking’ and the notion that presentations are like performances. That concept just doesn’t match the kind of presentations people actually give in the course of their work. Business presenters need a fundamentally different approach.”

That approach, say the authors, is one that shifts from “speechmaking” to thinking of business presentations as “orderly conversations” that thrive on the natural give-and-take between presenter and audience. Developed through Turpin Communication’s presentation workshops, Ludwig and Owen-Boger have seen this shift dramatically improve and empower their clients.

“Most presenters knew they weren’t delivering formal speeches, but the assumptions they were making and strategies they used didn’t reflect that,” says Owen-Boger. “Thinking of presentations as conversations changes everything: from preparation and delivery, through managing interactions, to how you judge your success when it’s all over.”

The Orderly Conversation takes readers through a clear and accessible process, inviting readers into one of the authors’ workshops to learn how to

  • Prepare for a genuine conversation
  • Engage listeners in a comfortable, flexible, conversation
  • Craft compelling visual aids that prepare you for the moment of delivery
  • Create the environment for productive interaction
  • Be clear and concise when thinking on your feet

“Most books on the subject stress how to look good speaking at people,” said Blaine Rada, professional speaker and management trainer named “America’s Greatest Thinker.” “’The Orderly Conversation’ shows how to truly connect with people, so you can stop performing and start engaging.”

Granville Circle Press calls their latest offering “eminently practical; real-world advice for the real world of business.” Due to be released in July 2014, The Orderly Conversation is available for pre-order.

ABOUT GRANVILLE CIRCLE PRESS
Granville Circle Press publishes works in the communication arts, including “Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference,” selected by Kirkus Reviews as a “Best of 2012.” The Orderly Conversation, ISBN 978-0-9838703-2-6 $21.95

ABOUT TURPIN COMMUNICATION
Turpin Communication (Chicago) was founded in 1992 to provide the best presentation and facilitation skills training available anywhere. Since then it has helped business presenters in a broad range of industries and organizations focus on the skills and techniques that help them succeed. Authors Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger are available for key note addresses and to speak at conferences and corporate meetings.

Contact

Kyle Carlson
Granville Circle Press
+1 612-229-8896
Email

Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger
Turpin Communication
773-239-2523
Email

This news release was originally published here.

Down & Dirty Video at Learning 3.0 in Chicago

April 11, 2012 in Find Your Focus Video, News

Training Magazine loved Down & Dirty Video so much in February they’ve asked Greg to present it again in Chicago this fall at the Learning 3.0 Conference, October 24 & 25.

Information coming soon on their website.

Turpin Receives Highest Ratings of Any Session!

September 9, 2011 in Find Your Focus Video, News

Not to brag too much, but Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s VP, received the highest ratings of any other speaker at the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase held August 16, 2011 at Union League Club of Chicago.

From the Conference Speaker Team Leader, Apryl Cox Jackson: “I’d like to add my thanks for giving such a great session. It looks like your session had the highest ratings of any session all day!”

The session was called Down & Dirty Video: Practical Strategies for Producing Engaging E-Learning Video on a Budget.

Topics included:

  • Best practices for developing and rehearsing a script.
  • Best practices for setting up a make-shift studio and the placement of the camera, lights and sound equipment.
  • Strategies for engaging learners and sounding conversational (and coaching others to do the same).
  • Guidelines for editing and producing the finished product.