Another 5-Star Review for “The Orderly Conversation” at Portland Book Review

April 1, 2015 in Book Reviews, News, The Orderly Conversation, Uncategorized

Review originally posted at the Portland Book Review

The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined by Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger

Portland Book Review

 

 

 

Approaching presentations as conversations leads to more engagement, which is necessary to successfully keep business moving forward. Authors Ludwig and Owen-Boger walk the reader through the steps in planning and delivering the ordered conversation following the structure of their training workshops. From getting engaged to framing the conversation, from presenting the information to managing interactions, seasoned and new presenters alike will benefit from this relevant and organized text. Some long-standing presentation rules are debunked as performance tactics, while valuable techniques such as pausing, eye contact, and directing attention are discussed and validated. Through the experience of eight workshop participants, the authors effectively show readers differing personalities and various presentation scenarios then present the adaptations each participant makes to achieve an ordered conversation. If, for example, one’s default presentation approach is to improvise, the tendency to be long-winded and get off track lends importance to using framing slides and prompts to stay focused. If one’s default approach is to script the entire presentation and practice to perfection, one risks performing and disengaging from the conversation.

Included in this text is a self-assessment to assist the reader in determining their default approach. Readers will likely recognize themselves in one or more of the workshop participants. Ever get nervous when presenting? The authors share how to manage that nervousness. Prefer to put the slides together, than to actually present them? That’s addressed. Have trouble figuring out where to start with visual aids? Authors Ludwig and Owen-Boger lead readers through four steps in defining the content and structuring the framing slides for a presentation. While readers won’t have the benefit of the videotaping and playback of presentations that workshop participants do within this book, it would be possible to follow this prescriptive and answer the questions shared to further improve presentation skills. The Orderly Conversation is a must-read for anyone looking to hone their presentation skills.

Reviewed by Lisa Ard

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Three New Guiding Principles for Business Presenters

March 18, 2015 in Author, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, Meetings, News, Posts for Buyers, Presentation, The Orderly Conversation

presentationxpert 3-17-15
I was asked to write an exclusive for PresentationXpert.com, an online magazine devoted to helping people take their presentation skills to the next level. Here’s how they describe their mission:

We are a community of experts and practitioners dedicated to sharing the best, most practical information about developing and delivering face-to-face and online presentations. The ability to create and deliver persuasive presentations plays a crucial role in the career advancement and income levels of business people across disciplines.

Our mission is to help you take your presentation skills to the next level — and help your organization create a competitive edge in the process.

Hope you enjoy the article. An excerpt is below. Read the whole article here: http://www.presentationxpert.com/3-new-guiding-principles-for-business-presenters

Three New Guiding Principles for Business Presenters

greg_owen-boger_hi-res_colorBy Greg Owen-Boger

Think back to the most recent meeting or presentation that you led or participated in. Was it effective? Was it efficient?

If you’re like most business people I’ve asked, your response is a resounding “no.”

Imagine how much time, energy, money, and good will are squandered during inefficient meetings every day in conference rooms across the world. I’m not sure what kind of number to put on it, but I’m sure it would be a staggering amount.

If any other business process were this inefficient, we’d do anything in our power to fix it. But communication? Eh. It seems we’ve grown so accustomed to ineffective, time-wasting meetings and presentations that we simply allow them to happen.

It’s as if their inefficiency is simply the cost of doing business.

My colleagues and I think that the business world deserves something better.

Read more … http://www.presentationxpert.com/3-new-guiding-principles-for-business-presenters

Applying Presentation Skills to a Game of Charades

November 27, 2012 in Author, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, Presentation

greg 200x300Last Thursday I spent Thanksgiving Day with family and friends. After the over-the-top dinner (prepared by my good friend Olive) had been devoured and dishes were done, family and friends retired to the living room to play a game similar to Charades. Hilarity ensued, of course. But I wasn’t doing very well when it came to helping my teammates accumulate points.

Each time I got up in front of the group, I became nervous and self-conscious. At one point I was trying to act out “cannon.” My head was foggy, I couldn’t think and I was getting nowhere. All I could think to do was light a match and cover my ears. No surprise they couldn’t guess correctly. I did very little to help them understand what I was doing.

After that round, I sat there thinking about not being a very good player. What was I doing wrong? I used to be an actor for Pete’s sake! I should be able to nail this.

Then it occurred to me. I had been internally focused. I dove in without a plan and didn’t give my teammates any context. I did not invite them into my world or try to make it easy for them to understand what I was doing. I’m not even sure I looked at them. I certainly don’t remember seeing their faces.

And THIS is exactly what happens to nervous presenters. A-Ha! I needed to follow Turpin’s advice.

So, leading up to my next turn I reminded myself to breathe and think and look my teammates in the eye. My first responsibility was to provide context, then tell the story. I know this stuff. I teach it all the time in our presentation skills workshops.

“Here goes,” I thought as I chose the card containing the word I’d soon have to act out. And the word was … “stripper.” Yup. Stripper. Oh dear.

I took a deep breath and thought about how to provide context. With my plan in place, I looked at my teammates. I put on a seductive grin, and lifted an eye brow. Then I started swaying to the music in my head. Next I unbuttoned a button on my shirt. Then another. I mimed taking it off and swinging it around my head before tossing it into the room.

“Stripper!” Dan yelled.

(Thank you, Dan. I owe you. My next move would not have been pretty.)

So … lesson learned. Think. Breathe. Look people in the eye. Provide context.

And what do you know? Presentation skills CAN apply to situations other than the board room. I’ve been saying this for years. It’s good to know it’s actually true.

My team won, by the way.

By Greg Owen-Boger, VP and Trainer at Turpin Communication

Six Red Flags for Business Presenters

September 10, 2012 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Myths Debunked, Preparation, Presentation

I was on Linkedin this morning reading updates. While I was there, I saw a link to a blog that made me cringe. It was a post about how to deliver a perfect presentation. I clicked on it and saw, as I suspected, that every tip that was mentioned was only applicable to the speechmaking process—not  business presentations.

Once again, I thought to myself, the presentation skills training industry has a problem defining itself. Speeches and presentations are constantly tossed into the same big bucket and the bucket is labeled Public Speaking. Because of this, lists like the one I read this morning confuse and frustrate business presenters. The tips themselves weren’t bad for speechmakers. But for the business presenters we work with, they were inappropriate.

So, I’ve decided to come up with my own list. Here are six words that should be red flags for any business presenter reading a book, article, or blog about presenting. When you see them, beware. They aren’t for you.

  1. Performance: The presentations you deliver are not and should never be performances. They are conversations that need to take on a life of their own once they begin.
  2. Stage: When writers talk about “taking the stage” what they’re talking about is a performance.
  3. Entertain: While it’s fine for a speech to be entertaining, presentations shouldn’t be. Can we have fun during a presentation? Absolutely. But if you plan to be entertaining, chances are good that you’ll wind up wasting your audience’s time.
  4. Jokes: I don’t need to elaborate on this one, right?
  5. Perfect: Presentations are not perfect. Sure, they can “go very well,” they can “succeed,” but setting out to make them “perfect” won’t work. When presentations succeed, the presenter initiates and manages a lively, productive conversation with the audience.
  6. Practice: You wouldn’t think that practice could possibly be a bad thing, but if presenters practice to be perfect or practice to the point of scripting, they will be in big trouble. What you should do before you present is prepare to be flexible and responsive.

If you’re a business presenter, give yourself permission to ignore some of the recommendations you read, no matter how many times you see them. The work you do as a presenter is uniquely challenging and understanding how it differs from speechmaking is the first step toward improvement.

by Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication

Engage in the Conversation

March 5, 2012 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, FAQs, Preparation

As you know, if you’ve ever participated in one of our workshops, we talk a lot about the use of engagement skills, eye contact and pausing. We say that using these skills to engage listeners in the conversation reduces nervousness, brings listeners into the conversation and helps you avoid the hazards of a canned performance.

Recently I picked up a public speaking text book written in 1915 by James Winans. The title is Public Speaking, Principles and Practice. I won’t go into the details about how I landed on a text written almost a hundred years ago, but I can say I was pretty happy with what I found in it. Winans has something to teach us.

Winans comes from the perspective that public speaking is “perfectly natural” and an extension of what he calls “that most familiar act” of conversation. That’s right in line with what we teach in 2012. What really impressed me, though, was his precise definition of what it means to be engaged. For Winans, engagement requires two conversational elements:

1.    Full realization of the content of your words as you utter them, and
2.    A lively sense of communication

In other words, presenters need to (1) think about what they’re saying as they’re saying it and (2) they need to speak for the purpose of communicating with someone else.

You may be thinking that this is incredibly obvious and really not worth pointing out. But think about what happens when these two elements are missing from a presentation. Without the first, the presenter may be performing something that’s been rehearsed over and over again. Or floating along on autopilot, not really thinking about what he or she is saying. Without the second, the presenter is operating in a vacuum, not responding to the audience, not adapting to the situation, not caring whether anything is communicated or not.

So what Winans is teaching us is what engagement requires, what presenters need to think about and where their attention should go to be engaged in the conversation. His ideas enrich our sense of how eye contact and pausing work as the two engagement skill presenters rely on.

by Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication

I have been told I should gesture less. What do you think?

December 14, 2010 in Author, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Mary Clare Healy, Video

Question:
I’ve been told I should gesture less. What do you think?

Answer:
People often ask us whether they’re gesturing too much when they present. And typically, the answer is no.

Watch Mary Clare Healy from Turpin Communication answer the question in more detail in this video blog entry.

Related posts:

Hands on Hips – OK or Not? by Greg Owen-Boger

Are Hands in Pockets OK? by Greg Owen-Boger

Hands on Hips — OK or Not?

November 4, 2010 in Author, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Greg Owen-Boger, Myths Debunked

Greg Owen-Boger, Vice President of Turpin Communication

Discussions on LinkedIn often revolve around public speaking.  This one in particular caught my eye.  It was posted in the Public Speaking Network group and is about whether or not it’s OK to put your hands on your hips.

The gist of the question was this:
Is it wrong for speakers to place their hands on their hips?  I believe it’s a negative gesture and perhaps somewhat condescending.  Any thoughts?

Answers ranged from “yes, it’s the worst thing you can do” to “who cares where you put your hands.”

My response:

As a presentation/facilitation skills trainer & coach, I get questions about gestures all the time.

The answer is not so much what’s “right,” but what’s natural for the speaker.  Manufactured gestures and stances look phony.  Audiences don’t want phony.  They want real.

But how to become comfortable enough so that the real you comes out?

The solution is to engage your listeners in a thoughtful two-way conversation.  Look them in the eyes.  Look for their reactions.  Respond accordingly.   Soon enough you won’t be thinking about the placement of your hands, you’ll be thinking about the conversation.

All that said, there are times when certain gestures can convey the wrong thing.  Hands on hips is one of those, so is hands in pockets.  But you need to start with engagement, which will provide you with awareness so that you’ll know instinctively what’s appropriate and how to adapt to any given situation.

We use this slogan in our workshops and it really resonates with business people.

Find your focus.  Be yourself.  Only better.

What are your thoughts?  Post them below.

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by Greg Owen-Boger, VP and Trainer at Turpin Communication

No Performing. Present.

July 6, 2010 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Video

Many presenters go into “presentation mode” when it’s time to deliver their presentations.  We work hard to help people understand that what they need to do instead is engage their listeners in a genuine two-way conversation.  When this level of interaction occurs people’s personalities usually emerge and the impulse to perform goes away.

In this video blog, Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication, answers the question:

“People have told me that I seem phony, or like I’m performing.  I don’t feel it, but I’m told it’s off-putting.  What can I do?”

Here’s Dale’s response.

Visit Us at ASTD International Conference & Exposition, BOOTH 732

May 3, 2010 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, Mary Clare Healy, News, Preparation, Sarah Stocker, Training

It’s official.  Turpin will be exhibiting at ASTD International Conference & Exposition May 17 – 19 in Chicago.

Bring a copy of this blog entry to booth 732 and receive FREE access to our online Comprehensive Presentation Skills Course.  ($399 value)

Having attended the conference before, we fully understand the value it can bring to an organization.  Whether you’re there to attend seminars, participate in one of the certificate programs, network with other professionals in the field or learn more about training providers, the conference has something for everyone.

This year we decided it was time to set up an exhibit and introduce our Presentation & Facilitation Skills Training (both our live workshops and our new online courses) to a broader audience.  That’s where we hope you come in.  We’d love to meet you and explain what we mean when we say:

Turpin is Not Your Average Presentation Skills Training Company

Oh, it’s true we train people to be better presenters and group facilitators.

However, unlike others in the field, we have a fluid definition of what it means to present and facilitate.  We understand that presentations involve discussions that require a facilitator’s skill, and group facilitators can only succeed when they are comfortable in their role as presenter and leader.  At the heart of the presentation and facilitation process is what we call the “orderly conversation.”  By defining the process in this way, we’re able to embrace the tension that exists within every business presentation and discussion—the tension between the need to be orderly (clear goal and careful structure) as well as conversational (unpredictable and spontaneous).

Defining business communication as orderly conversations allows the skills learned to be applied to a variety of other business situations including sales meetings, project status meetings, performance management conversations, elevator speeches, brainstorming sessions, training and so on.

How can we work together to help your employees manage the give and take of their orderly conversations?  Give us a call, email or visit us at booth 732 to get the conversation started.

773-239-2523  || info@turpincommunication.com

One more thought… Are We a Good Fit For You?  Let’s Find Out.

One of the best ways to know whether a training vendor is a good fit for your organization is to participate in one of their workshops.  That’s why we’re giving away full-access versions of our online Comprehensive Presentation Skills Training Course.  We’re sure that once you see how we approach Presentation Skills Training, you’ll recognize the value in partnering with us to develop your employees’ communication skills.  Print out this page and bring it to us to receive your free course.  (By the way, that free session is a $399 value.)

Visit our Virtual Tradeshow Booth at http://s36.a2zinc.net/clients/ASTD/ice10/public/booth.aspx?BoothID=109078&EventID=17

When presenting, I feel more comfortable when I hold a pen. Is that OK?

February 15, 2010 in Author, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Mary Clare Healy, Presentation, Video

QUESTION: When presenting, I feel more comfortable when I hold a pen.  Is that OK?

ANSWER: This is a common question we receive in our Presentation Skills Workshops.  Class participants often remark that holding on to something somehow calms them down and makes them feel less nervous.  In this video blog entry, Mary Clare Healy, provides some advice.

For more video blogs go to Turpin Communication’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TurpinCommunication

Mary Clare Healy, Presentation Skills Trainer at Turpin Communication

Mary Clare Healy, Presentation Skills Trainer at Turpin Communication