Dale Ludwig - Jul 10, 2014

Grok Your Presentations

Grok - NPR 7-10-14While listening to All Things Considered on NPR yesterday afternoon, I heard a story about video game jargon. Although I don’t know anything about video games, by the end of the story I knew exactly what they were talking about.

It was part of a special series ATC is doing on trade lingo. The show’s producers have asked people to submit jargon that anyone outside of a particular line of work would never understand. One of the words submitted by a video game designer, Max Nichols, was grok.

As Nichols explained it, grokking occurs when “you translate, what is at first a hunk of plastic with buttons in your hands, into a kind of seamless connection to you and your game character.” When this happens, gamers “don’t need to think … they just do it.”

What struck me was that the same process happens when you’re fully engaged in your presentations. Whatever tools you’re using—slides, handouts, even your own voice and body—become seamlessly integrated into the interaction you’re having. You don’t need to think about using them. You just do.

The story is 3:27. If you listen, you’ll also learn about another gaming term, greebling.


Written by Dale Ludwig

Dale Ludwig 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 with the mission to provide the best presentation and facilitation skills training possible. Since then he has worked to do just that. In addition to being one of Turpin’s lead instructors, he also serves as our Chief Learning Architect when tailoring learning engagements for our clients. Dale is a frequent blogger and the co-author of the book "The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined." He’s excited about his latest book, also co-authored with Greg Owen-Boger, "Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide to Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning."