Dale Ludwig is President & Founder of Turpin Communication. He has a Ph.D. in Communication and, prior to Turpin, taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He founded Turpin Communication in 1992. Since then he has worked to keep Turpin focused on providing the best presentation and facilitation skills training available. He spends most of his time delivering live workshops and writing. He also appears in Turpin’s online courses.
In this conversation, he discusses his book, The Orderly Conversation that he co-authored with Greg Owen-Boger.
Geetesh: 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 us these experiences that are valuable since they help others overcome so many problems. Can you share some thoughts about this observation.
Dale: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. We work hard to find the root cause for a particular challenge a presenter faces. Once we understand that, we can help people develop the skills required to overcome the challenge. It is our hope that readers will recognize themselves in the business presenters we write about. Basically, we’re asking our readers to:
- Take a step back and think about how presentations help get business done, and
- Dive into the details of what individual improvement looks like.
Geetesh: How did this book evolve – and what roles did you and your co-author Greg Owen-Boger 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 workshop 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). He would focus on the individual coaching process they would go through. In that way, I was free to write in a broader way because he was focusing on the nuance, how individuals improve in different ways.