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. 

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

Resolution Season: NEW Private Coaching Service

January 7, 2014 in News, Preparation, Presentation, Training

We hope your new year is off to a great start. One of our goals this year at Turpin is to make it easier for workshop participants to receive follow-up coaching when they need it most.

If you’ve been through one of our workshops, you know that our goal is to make presenting easier. We provide practical recommendations you can take back to work and use right away.

The challenge for you is applying what you’ve learned (1) in the variety of situations you face and (2) when you have a lot of other things to think about. This is especially true when you have an important presentation coming up.

Coaching for Your Next High-Stakes Presentation
To help you succeed when you can’t afford to mess up, we’re offering a new follow-up coaching service. Starting this year, for an additional fee, workshop participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a private coaching session after their workshop.

How Does It Work?

  • Coaching will be delivered virtually. No travel required.
  • The session will last an hour. Long enough to be productive, short enough to give you time to do other things that day.
  • You decide when your coaching session takes place and what it will focus on.
  • You know your coach already. Whenever possible, your coaching session will be with one of the instructors from your live workshop.
  • We’ll do our homework. Before the coaching session we’ll ask you to email your presentation to us. We’ll review it and prepare feedback before coaching takes place.
  • Immediately after coaching, we’ll email you a summary of the work we did.

Who’s It For?
Coaching is available for all workshop participants, no matter when your workshop was held.

How to Sign Up
Just contact Dana Peters for pricing information and to schedule a session.

We’re excited to offer this new level of support for our clients.

Meeting & Exceeding Conference Attendee Expectations

January 9, 2013 in Author, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, Video

Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin’s VP, was recently interviewed by Training Magazine about his article from last spring entitled, “Walking Out of a Presentation.”

Read the article here: http://theorderlyconversation.com/wordpress/walking-out-of-a-presentation/

Listen to the interview below.

Deliver Answers to Everyone in the Room

April 30, 2012 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Facilitation, Video

In this video blog Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication, discusses the reasons presenters should direct their answers to everyone in the group during Q&A.

How can I keep my enthusiasm where it needs to be?

April 23, 2012 in Author, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Preparation, Sarah Stocker

There is no one-size-fits-all solution; different people need to do different things to increase their enthusiasm. Here are some things to consider.

Are you disengaged?
Presenters who are disengaged can appear stiff and uncomfortable. When you are engaged your natural communication skills and enthusiasm will emerge. For more on engagement, read Dale’s post, Find your focus. Be yourself. Only better.

Is it a volume issue?
Speaking louder is often the easiest way to increase your enthusiasm. Boosting your volume requires you to put more energy into your voice and makes you sound more passionate about your topic. To start your presentation on the right path, simply focus on the person farthest away from you in the room and speak to them. Doing this will naturally bring your volume up to an appropriate level.

Do you appear more enthusiastic when you increase your movement a bit?
Purposeful movement can add energy to your presentation. For some people it gives them a positive way to release nervous energy (instead of fidgeting or pacing). For presenters who tend to be stiff, it can help them loosen up. Some examples of purposeful movement are moving toward the screen to point something out or moving toward a specific individual to connect with them.

The thing to remember, and this is something that’s true for everyone, is that presenting is hard work. If you’re not tired after a long presentation, you’re probably not working hard enough. A presenter asked me recently if she needed to fake it when she just wasn’t feeling very enthusiastic about her presentation. I said absolutely yes. You still have to look natural and be yourself, of course, but sometimes you have to pull your enthusiasm out of thin air.

by Sarah Stocker, Trainer and Workshop Coordinator at Turpin Communication

What Rules Do You Have For Creating Visual Aids?

April 9, 2012 in Author, Delivery, FAQs, Greg Owen-Boger, Myths Debunked, Preparation, Video

Followers of this blog know that we are not a fan of rules. In this video blog, Greg Owen-Boger outlines some important things to consider when creating visual aids for presentations.

by Greg Owen-Boger, Vice President at Turpin Communication

Is There A Magic Number Of Slides?

March 20, 2012 in Author, Delivery, FAQs, Myths Debunked, Organizing Your Content, Preparation, Sarah Stocker

Question: I’ve been told that I should use no more than X# of slides. Is that true?

Answer:
It depends. If this is a rule coming down from your bosses, then you should follow it. They probably want you to use a specific template for your presentation.

Otherwise, there is no magic number of slides you should use. Just make sure that all of the slides contribute to your goal. If they don’t, eliminate them. By the way, the same is true for the number of bullets per slide.

For more information on what to include in your slides check out Greg’s post: How much detail should be included on PowerPoint slides?

by Sarah Stocker, Trainer and Workshop Coordinator at Turpin Communication

Looking Over People’s Heads

March 12, 2012 in Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Greg Owen-Boger, Myths Debunked, Nervousness

 

Question:
I’ve been told that when I’m nervous I should look over my audience’s heads. Is that true?

greg 200x300Answer:
No. You have been given some terrible advice. We hear this sort of thing all the time.

One of the things that triggers nervousness is the notion that your presentation should be a performance played to a faceless group of people. If it were a performance, this idea might make sense.

But a presentation is a conversation. You cannot converse with a faceless group of people. Instead, you need to converse with living/breathing/thinking individuals. This requires that you look people in the eye and actually SEE them. You need to recognize their reactions and how they’re responding to you. When you do that, you can respond back. When you see their smiles and nods, you know you’re on the right track. When you see looks of confusion, you know you need to explain something a little differently or go into more detail. This is what you automatically do in normal, everyday, low-stakes conversations. This same level of engagement needs to apply to presentations.

So, look people in the eye, connect with them. This will reduce your nervousness and you’ll feel and look comfortable and in control of the conversation. It also takes the pressure off of having to be perfect. Conversations are messy by nature. Embrace that thought. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t prepare for your presentations. I’m saying that once they begin, they need to feel structured AND conversational. Looking people in the eye and settling into the conversation is how to do it.

But that seems counter-intuitive, you’re probably thinking.

Yes, it does. After all, the people in the room are the things that are making you nervous. What you have to realize is that they are not passive viewers whose sole responsibility is to judge your performance. Instead they want to be active participants in the conversation. They may not speak as much as you, but they’re still participating in the dialogue. The only way to engage them in it is to look them in the eye and respond to their contributions.

What thoughts do you have?

by Greg Owen-Boger, VP 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

Memorizing the Opening of a Presentation

January 17, 2012 in Author, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, Engaging Listeners, FAQs, Greg Owen-Boger, Introduction, Myths Debunked, Practice Does Not Make Perfect, Preparation, Presentation

greg 200x300Question: Why don’t you recommend memorizing the opening of a presentation?

Answer: The reason we don’t recommend memorizing the opening of a presentation is because it places your focus in the wrong place. When your presentation starts, you should be thinking about your listeners and engaging them in the conversation not recalling a script.

If you do memorize the beginning, you run these risks:

  • Sounding stilted or self-conscious
  • Appearing “put on” or as if you’re performing
  • Ignoring (or not noticing) what happened moments before you started speaking
  • Missing non-verbal cues from your listeners
  • Bulldozing
  • Failing to connect dots from earlier portions of the meeting

We’ve written several posts about best practices for introducing your presentation, so I won’t go into that here, we’ve also written about the pitfalls of too much practice.

The big thing to keep in mind is that everyday presentations need to feel like genuine conversations. Memorizing a script of any sort is in direct conflict with that and must be avoided.

by Greg Owen-Boger, Vice President, Turpin Communication