How Do You Want to be Perceived?

October 21, 2013 in Author, Greg Owen-Boger, Preparation, Presentation, Talent Development, Training

greg_owen-boger_hi-res_colorAs Workplace Learning & Performance Professionals, this is an important question to ask ourselves. Just how DO we, as an industry, want to be perceived?

Almost every workshop we conduct and speaking engagement we lead starts with a group discussion around this question. Answers are charted and discussed. Once the chart is hung on the wall for all to see, we can start to look at ourselves through this lens and identify two things:

  1. What are we doing to support this hoped-for perception?
  2. What are we doing that’s preventing us from reaching it?

Here’s an example: I recently presented a session called “Engaging Learners in the Orderly Conversation” to a group of highly engaged learning professionals at a local ASTD chapter. The chart we made included a lot of great words, but the two that spoke the loudest to this group were “respected” and “relevant.”

Our conversation that day eventually turned to the use of icebreakers. The group was fairly evenly split. Some love icebreakers, others don’t. There was passion on both sides of the argument. Eventually I asked the group if the use of icebreakers supported their goals of being respected and relevant.



Eventually someone said, “Only if the icebreaker supports the learning and is relevant to the group.” Finally the group was in agreement.

When we work with trainers and instructional designers, we encourage them to scrutinize everything. Every module, everything they do and say, every exercise and facilitated discussion needs to support their goals. If they don’t, they should be tossed out or restructured.

Making these changes is a difficult thing for people to do. It’s hard to let go of long-held beliefs, habits, and industry trends, but it’s a necessary thing.

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

Engaging Learners in the Orderly Conversation

May 22, 2011 in Author, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, News, Training, Video

The Chicago Chapter of the American Society of Training & Development (CCASTD) was kind enough to allow Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin Communication’s VP, to speak at the May 19, 2011 dinner meeting.

The lively session was called “Engaging Learners in the Orderly Conversation.” An edited video of the discussion is below along with the slides and the handout.

Engaging Learners in the Orderly Conversation – SLIDES

Engaging Learners in the Orderly Conversation – HANDOUT

Want to book Greg for one of your events? Contact him for speaking engagement details at 773-256-9406 or

Let’s Meet Up at ASTD International Conference & Exposition May 23-25 in Orlando

March 24, 2011 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, News, Preparation, Training

If you’re heading to Orlando for the American Society for Training and Development conference, let’s meet up. We’ll be in booth 1227.

ASTD Exhibitor, booth 1227

Want to check us out ahead of time? Don’t blame you. Our virtual tradeshow booth is here, and it contains all sorts of information about our presentation and facilitation skills training workshops.

Find out what we mean when we say:

“This is communication training. REDEFINED.”


Also, Dale Ludwig, Turpin’s Founder and President, will be speaking Wednesday, May 25. If you are a trainer, or a training manager, you won’t want to miss this exciting session.

Trainer, Know Thyself: Why Your Default Matters
Wednesday, May 25, 10:30am – 11:45am

In this session, you’ll take a fresh look at what it means to be a successful trainer. At the heart of every training session is the need to be organized, prepared, and on track. At the same time, trainers need to engage learners in a genuine, spontaneous conversation. In other words, there is a strong tension between your “orderly” training plan and your “conversational” delivery.

One way trainers balance this tension is to blend didactic instruction with group discussion and activities. But success lies in execution, and the best-laid combination of methods often falls out of balance because of your default—the way you personally respond to the tension between the orderly and the conversational. Your default is a measure of your comfort, habits, strengths, and weaknesses. Awareness of it explains why some trainers thrive by keeping things on track—planning, details, time management—while others thrive being spontaneous, engaging listeners and encouraging discussion. While the influence of your default is felt throughout the process, it is often unconscious and uncontrolled.

This session will help you explore the influence of your default and what you can do to manage it to your advantage in the classroom.

Dale Ludwig is the founder and president of Turpin Communication, a presentation and facilitation training company. Over the past 20 years he and his partners at Turpin have developed methodologies that challenge much of the conventional wisdom in the field. Working with presenters, facilitators and trainers, Turpin’s work (1) focuses on the orderly conversation that must take place in today’s business environment, (2) acknowledges the default approach that every presenter and facilitator brings to that process and (3) helps communicators develop the skills they need to engage listeners in a productive interaction. Dale has a PhD in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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