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

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”

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.


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.” [Tweet ““Thinking of #presentations as #conversations changes everything.””]

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, and other online book retailers.


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.” [website link] The Orderly Conversation, ISBN 978-0-9838703-2-6 $21.95


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.


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

Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger
Turpin Communication

Find your focus. Be yourself. Only better.

April 15, 2010 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Preparation

A few years ago I wrote this paragraph for the Reference Guide we distribute to all the participants in our Presentation Skills workshops:

One of the first questions we ask before a workshop begins is, “If you had to choose one thing to take away from this class, what would it be?”  When we started asking this question, I was surprised to learn that the answer was almost always the same.  People wanted to be more comfortable.  They wanted the image they project as “presenter” to be the same as the image they project the rest of the time.  They didn’t want to become someone flashy or unusual.  They wanted to be themselves when they were presenting, just without the loss of control and the nagging belief that they weren’t quite succeeding.  They were confident that they would be effective and persuasive once comfort was achieved.

I’m in the process of writing a new version of the Reference Guide now.  I’m excited about it because it will include some new ways of thinking about and improving presentations.  One thing that won’t change, though, is the idea that presenters want to be comfortable, to “be themselves.”  This goal has become so central to our approach that it’s part of our new tag line.  Find your focus.  Be yourself.  Only better.

What this means for training

Life in the presentation skills classroom would be so easy if we could say to participants, “OK, I’d like you to deliver your presentation now, and don’t worry about making it fancy or anything, just be yourself.”  But, it doesn’t work that way.  A lot of things happen to your “self” when you walk to the front of the room to deliver a presentation.  Nervousness gets in the way, affecting the way you look and sound.  Sometimes your mind goes blank or your thoughts start racing ahead .  You may speed up, speak too quietly, freeze in place or forget to look at people.  The pressure you feel also affects what you say.  For example, the drive to be clear and accurate might lead you to say more than you need to.  Or you may go off on a tangent and forget to use your slides.

These reactions, and all the others you may have experienced, are manageable.

First, you need to know what is happening to you.  This isn’t as easy as you might think.  Your everyday self-awareness is often taken over by uncomfortable self-consciousness when you’re presenting.

Second, you need to know what to do to engage your listeners in a genuine, conversation.

If there’s a secret to being yourself at the front of the room it’s engagement.  Here’s how it works.

Find your focus.
Finding your focus means knowing what to do to get engaged. For most people it comes down to two skills: eye contact or pausing (or a combination of the two). These skills work differently for everyone, so our job in the training room is to help people experiment and discover what works best for them.

Be yourself.
Once presenters are engaged, they feel comfortable.  They’re aware of their listeners, but not distracted by them.  Their thoughts settle down, and they can think on their feet.  When this happens, their personalities and natural communication skills emerge.

Only better.
When presenters are comfortable and engaged, they’re able to respond appropriately to the presentation environment.  They’re aware of their position in the room and are free to move about comfortably.  They’re free to focus on their listeners, slides and message.  They know instinctively what they need to say or do to get their ideas across.  Further, they’ve tamed any habits or delivery distractions that may have plagued them in the past.

In short, when presenters focus on engaging their listeners, they feel and look comfortable, project the confidence that’s within them and take control of the unpredictable, spontaneous process of presenting.

They have found their focus.  They are themselves.  Only better.

by Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication