2015: What a Year for Turpin and For Our Clients!

January 6, 2016 in News, Posts for Buyers, Talent Development, The Orderly Conversation, Training

Happy New Year!We hope the New Year is off to a good start for you. Before we get too far into 2016, we want to say thanks for making 2015 such a good one for Turpin. We had a lot of client wins, and we’d like to share a few because you might be able to take advantage of them yourself. [Tweet “Thanks for making 2015 such a good year”]

Since Dale and Greg launched The Orderly Conversation in 2014, several clients have asked us to develop highly-tailored sessions to meet their specific business goals. We’ve always tailored our workshops to meet specific needs, but now we’ve made it easier for you to imagine how we can help you meet your goals using the methodologies laid out in the book. The result of this work is more than 20 new outcome-specific workshops focusing on different aspects of business communication. Each falls into one of three categories:

  • Training for Presenters
  • Training for Meeting Facilitators
  • Training for Trainers and Subject Matter Experts

A few examples include:

  • Presenting to leadership & exuding executive presence
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Closing the deal during sales meetings
  • Fostering team collaboration from a distance
  • Working with SMEs in the training room

If you go to our main website (www.turpincommunication.com) and roll your mouse over the navigation, you will be able to see the entire catalog.

Also in 2015, Dale focused a lot of energy on executive coaching, working 1-1 with several very smart people to prepare them for high-stakes presentations, and Greg began delivering keynote addresses at conferences, which does a lot to broaden our reach and improve communication across a wide range of client situations.

Finally, there were a couple big milestones this year—Sarah celebrated 10 years with Turpin and Greg rang in his 20th!

Have a great January! All of us at Turpin look forward to the opportunity of working with you in 2016.

Dale, Greg, and the entire Turpin Communication Team

1 Website, 2 Interviews in India about The Orderly Conversation

October 18, 2015 in Dale Ludwig, Greg Owen-Boger, News, Posts for Buyers, The Orderly Conversation, Training, Uncategorized

indezine-logoThe Orderly Conversation is getting around. This time it’s in India where an online publication, Indezine, has interviewed co-authors Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger about the book and the writing process they followed.

We’d like to thank Geetesh Bajaj, editor at Indezine, for his insightful questions.

GeeteshGeetesh: Compared to other presenters’ books, The Orderly Conversation is a book that’s not so much about a sequential series of improvement steps one needs to take. Rather, your book is filled with your personal experiences — and it is these experiences that are valuable since they help others overcome so many problems. Can you share some thoughts about this observation?

dale_ludwig_hi-res_colorDale: You’re right, The Orderly Conversation grew out of our experience working with many different presenters with many different challenges. Over the years, we realized that there is no single path for improvement appropriate for everyone. “Rules” of delivery, for example, only work when the right “rule” is used to fill a very personal need. And everyone’s “rules” are slightly different.
Read the rest of Dale’s answer.

greg_owen_boger_300Greg: Over 40-plus combined years, Dale and I have worked with people from many different industries and at all levels within their organizations. There is one common theme among them. Through their business communications, they are attempting to get business done; they need to be clear and persuasive so that their listeners buy, agree, align, or learn. This also means that they need to create the conditions for a fruitful and efficient dialogue to take place.

Often the first objective (that of achieving the goal) is missed because of failure on the speaker’s part to manage the give-and-take process. We believe that this happens because business people are using the wrong set of tools to do that work.
Read the rest of Greg’s answer.

Geetesh: How did this book evolve – and what roles did you and your co-author play in its creation?

Dale: When I started writing, I was going to be the sole author. After I had written a few chapters, I showed them to Greg. (He and I have been delivering workshops together for about 20 years.) Greg’s response to the chapters was that they were theoretically sound, but did not focus enough on the practical application of the theory. To solve that problem, we decided we would share the writing responsibilities in a unique way. Greg would write about a fictional group of business presenters going through one of our workshops (people with very typical problems and strengths).
Read the rest of Dale’s answer.

Greg: Originally, I wasn’t going to contribute to the book at all. However, after reading an early draft, I suggested to Dale that it was lacking practical application. In other words, the theory was rock solid, but I doubted whether readers would be able to apply Dale’s recommendations to the variety of situations they face at work. I’m a huge fan of Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, in which he uses character and story to bring his leadership concepts to life. We decided to do the same, and since I have a background in theatre and storytelling, it made sense for me to take on this new concept and weave narrative into the text.

To do that, we created eight fictional, yet very real characters.
Read the rest of Greg’s answer.

[Tweet “The Orderly Conversation debuts in India. Thank You, Indezine and @Geetesh!”]

When You Didn’t Make the Slides You’re Delivering

August 7, 2015 in Barbara Egel, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Improving Your Visual Aids, Organizing Your Content, Preparation, Presentation

Sometimes in workshops, we discover that our learners are working with slides or whole decks they didn’t create, and some of these slides are not only unnatural to deliver but also confusing in their layout, organization, or even in the information they include. If you’re confused by a slide, your audience is not going to get much from it either.

[Tweet “If you’re confused by a slide, your audience is not going to get much from it either.”]

How, then, do you get past both the informational confusion and the delivery challenges to make that slide as natural a part of your deck as the slides you made yourself?

We have a few suggestions. We talk about The Orderly Conversation succeeding on two levels: the business goal (make the sale, get buy-in, teach the process, etc.) and the process goal (earn trust, make it easy, manage the conversation).

Presentations Succeed on Two Levels

Similarly, we can talk about slide delivery working on two levels.

Effective Slide Delivery Requires Two Levels of Thinking


  • The first is the obvious content goal: understanding the data, knowing how conclusions were reached, believing in recommendations.
  • The second is the design and delivery goal: understanding why a slide is laid out the way it is, what key message it’s intended to communicate, and how it fits within the larger goals of the presentation as a whole.

Sitting at your desk, you can usually figure out the first goal, and if it comes from higher up in the company, you trust the data to be reliable and true. However, your ability to deliver the slide depends on your understanding of the second goal. How did the person who created the slide intend for it to be delivered? Were they even thinking in terms of intent?

[Tweet “How did the person who created the slide intend for it to be delivered?”]

If you can, try to talk with that person. To really understand their slides, ask the following questions.

  • “Help me understand what the intended takeaway is for this slide. What should the audience learn or believe after it’s delivered?”
  • “How does this presentation of the data support that takeaway?”
  • If the slide has more on it than you think is needed to make its point, “How did you intend for this [graph/chart/text box] to feed into the point you’re making?”
  • “How does this slide fit with the one before it and the one that comes after it?”
  • “How can we rewrite slide titles to clarify the main point of this slide in the context of the deck?”
  • Finally, if they’re not understanding your questions, or if you are still unclear, “Could you run through this slide (or couple of slides) as if you were delivering it to my intended audience?”

This should help you understand the slide design and how it fits with the goals of the presentation overall. It’s also possible that your questions could lead to a reconsideration and even a redesign of the slides in order to help you—and your audience—get the most out of them.

By Barbara Egel, Presentation Coach at Turpin Communication and editor of “The Orderly Conversation”

Give the Gift of Effective Business Communication

November 24, 2014 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Greg Owen-Boger, Presentation, Talent Development, The Orderly Conversation

Give the gift of The Orderly Conversation30% Off Your Entire Order

We’ve been told time and again: “I wish I’d had this book earlier in my career.”

So… no matter where your friends, family and co-workers are in their career, why not give them something they can really use?

Use promo code gift2014

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Offer expires Dec. 21, 2014

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what others have put in writing:

Where was this book when I was starting out?!?”
Pamela Meyer, Ph.D., Author, “From Workplace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing for Dynamic Engagement”

“I’m buying several copies for my colleagues.”
Nick Rosa, Managing Director, Sandbox Industries

“Spread the word, gentlemen. If I had my way, your text would be required reading in every business school in the land.”
Robert Lane, Director, Aspire Communications

“I wish I’d had this book earlier in my career.”
Blaine Rada, “America’s Greatest Thinker,” The Great American Think-Off

“You will use what you learn in The Orderly Conversation in the office, at home, and really anywhere the stakes are high and you need to get business done.”
Antonia Fico, Director, Performance Solutions, US Cellular

Calculating the High Cost of Poor Communication

November 3, 2014 in Author, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, Meetings, Posts for Buyers, The Orderly Conversation

Business presentations and meetings exist for one reason: to move business forward.

And they ought to do that effective and efficiently. But do they?

As it turns out, in far too many cases, no.

Last week I delivered a keynote address at a conference. The presentation focused on some of the ideas in our new book, The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined.

The audience was made up of individual contributors, managers, and senior leaders. I asked them to think about that last business meeting or presentation that they had either led or participated in. Then I asked them, “Was it effective and efficient?”

Not a single person in that ballroom raised their hand. Not one.

The Cost in Numbers
meeting frustrationAfter the conference, I starting thinking about how much time, energy, and money are wasted every day, week, month, or year by ineffective and inefficient meetings and presentations. Then I started doing some math.

Using round numbers from Wikipedia (I know, I know…), the average household income in the US is $51,939. That’s roughly $1,000/week or $200/day. Assuming an 8-hour day, the average American is making $25/hour.

Had I only googled “average hourly rate,” I would have seen this site that says the US average hourly earnings is $24.53, so I guess my math is sound. Keep in mind this is the average of all workers across the country. I’m sure the average hourly rate for many of the people at the conference was considerably higher. But let’s stick with the average figure for the sake of this discussion.

Let’s assume that there were 8 people at a meeting you attended yesterday. The meeting lasted an hour and was led by Brad, one of your direct reports. Brad’s a great guy, but he came to the meeting unprepared. He wasn’t clear on what he wanted to accomplish. He rambled on and on, jumping from topic to topic. The other attendees were distracted and took the meeting off topic at times. At one point you stepped in to redirect the meeting back to Brad. It was a frustrating meeting and, unfortunately, typical.

Let’s assume that the meeting was important, and that Brad’s goal could have been accomplished in 30 minutes had he been prepared and had he managed the process better. So that’s 30 minutes (or .5 hours) wasted, multiplied by 8 people at the average hourly rate.

.5 hours x 8 people x $25/hour = $100 wasted yesterday.

$100 wasted x 52 weeks = $5,200 wasted per year.

$5,200 wasted x 10 business units = $52,000 wasted per year. That’s equal to the average salary of one person.

Staggering, isn’t it?

The Cost of Diminished Trust and Good Will
Now let’s look at it from a different angle. Yesterday’s meeting wasn’t unique. In fact, as you think about it, it’s status quo for Brad. You’re starting to notice that others are reluctant to attend Brad’s meetings. As a result of his inefficient meetings, he’s lost the good will of his colleagues, which is having a negative effect on his reputation.

Now, let’s say that Brad talks to you about how he’d like a promotion. In the new role Brad would have to have the skills to set direction, communicate expectations, and manage weekly status meeting with senior leadership. With his current skill set, you realize you can’t trust him to take on the new role.

Now what?
My colleagues and I believe that far too much time, energy, money, and good will are squandered through ineffective and inefficient business communication. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. People simply need to (a) understand the damage caused by poor communication, (b) rethink their current approach, and (c) get comfortable using a new set of tools.[Tweet “time, energy, money, good will are squandered by inefficient business communication”]

Learn more by picking up a copy of The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined, or by calling us to set up a skill-building workshop for your employees.

I also encourage you to do your own math; I’ll bet the cost of training your employees will be less than maintaining the status quo.

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

Good Writing Does Not Equal Good Presentations

September 16, 2014 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Myths Debunked, Preparation, Presentation, Video

Ever wonder why your strengths as a writer don’t necessarily translate to speaking in public or when delivering a business presentation?

Watch this video to find out why.

If you’re a good writer, your strengths may not transfer to the presentations you deliver.

Writers are naturally thorough, careful, detailed, and accurate. The presentations you create are probably the same. If you’re like most writers, you prefer to stick to the plan during delivery.

Business presentations, though, aren’t just about the plan you created. Your listeners aren’t there to listen to what you’ve written in advance. They want spontaneity. They want to ask questions and comment. That’s how the business of presenting gets done. Your job is to figure out how to get comfortable with the uncertainties of that process and trust yourself to manage them while still getting to your point. We call that process Adapting to Your Default Approach.

Read the book, The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined, to learn more. Available now at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Itasca Books and this website.

The Orderly Conversation Hits the Radio Waves

June 12, 2014 in News, Presentation, Talent Development, The Orderly Conversation, Training

Listen to Greg Owen-Boger’s interview on Learning Insights Radio (by clicking this link or the picture on the right). The lively conversation moves from The Orderly Conversation’s book release in July, to applying its concepts to business presentations, to L&D folks gaining a seat at the table.

You’ll also hear some terrific interviewing techniques by Stone Payton and Lee Kantor from BusinessRadioX.

And finally, a great big thank you to TrainingPros for sponsoring the show.


A New Way to Look at the Orderly Conversation

June 4, 2014 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Preparation, Presentation, The Orderly Conversation

Greg and I had a meeting with our publisher and book designer yesterday. We’re getting very close to finalizing every image, sidebar, and pull quote (before we began this process, I had no idea what a pull quote was). We also talked about the back cover of the book. Along with the text included there, we’re including this image.

back cover 6-3-14

This image does a good job illustrating one of the core principles of The Orderly Conversation. The work you do in advance, during the planning stage, should bring order to the conversation you anticipate. It’s all about looking forward. Once the presentation begins, though, the plan must serve the conversation that’s actually taking place. That means bringing something created in the past into the present.

The challenge presenters face is balancing the two. Too much attention paid to the plan leads to stilted, scripted delivery. Too much attention on the conversation leads to a loss of order and focus. Successful presenters manage this process by staying fully engaged in the conversation and trusting the plan to keep it on track.

During your next presentation, keep the balance between these two goals in mind.

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

Our Cover Story

August 13, 2013 in Author, Dale Ludwig, News, Talent Development, The Orderly Conversation

So far, the best part about writing The Orderly Conversation is working on its cover design. The writing part is pretty lonely, even when you’re coauthoring. On writing days it’s just you and the laptop. But when it comes to design, you bring in a really smart, talented designer like Brad Norr to guide you through the process. I love working with designers. They think and see things differently than I do.

Here’s a blog post from Tim Cage. In it he describes the design process for Living Proof, the book he wrote with John Capecci, and our book. I hope you enjoy.

The Orderly Conversation

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

My Mother’s Attic Part 3: The Elocutionists, a Cautionary Tale

July 16, 2013 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Myths Debunked, Talent Development

Part 1, Part 2

This is the final article about the perils of business presenters following the same path as the elocutionary movement.

The great thing about The Ideal Orator is that its approach, from our twenty-first-century perspective, is completely over the top. Anyone reading this book today would recognize its unnatural exaggeration of delivery behaviors, its focus on how a message should be delivered apart from what that message is.

What the book helps us see, though, is something much more subtle. Whenever a prescriptive approach is applied to something as individual and spontaneous as business presentations, we run into trouble.

Here’s what I mean.

  1. The Orderly Conversation that should take place between you and your listeners becomes a performance. Performances are very controlled things. They are not driven by the connection between you and your audience. Instead, they are driven by the plan that was made in advance. When you perform, you take yourself out of the conversation.
  2. The search for the rules governing the presentation process is a perfectly understandable thing. Rules make things easier. The thing is, presenters need to discover their own rules, not follow the rules for someone else. The rules you follow are determined by who you are and the habits you’ve developed. When you follow rules that aren’t right for you, you will feel and look uncomfortable. Maybe not as uncomfortable as the kids in my mother’s elocution classes, but uncomfortable nevertheless.
  3. When business presenters deliver a performance or attempt to follow one-size-fits-all rules, they undercut their ability to make decisions in the moment. If you’ve participated in one of our workshops, you know that engaging listeners is one of the most important processes we work on. When you’re engaged everything you do is a response to what’s happening with your audience.

As you know, Turpin’s tag line is “Find your focus. Be yourself. Only better.” So the next time you’re looking for rules governing delivery, make sure you’re focusing on what works for you, what helps you feel comfortable, and what gives you the control you need to manage the twists and turns of the Orderly Conversation.

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