Greg Owen-Boger - May 7, 2019

Join Us For a Discussion on SMEs During ATD’s International Conference & Exposition!

ATD Conference 2019 speakers, Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-BogerDale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin Communication’s leadership team, will be speaking in two different time slots at this year’s Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference & Exposition. The annual conference, which has Oprah delivering the keynote (!), is the go-to event for the industry. This year Washington D.C. is hosting the event. 

Both of the sessions are "back by popular demand," and are repeats of the sessions they did last year. In 2018, the one-hour "education session" was packed with 400 eager talent development pros from across the globe.

Sharing Expertise about Training Subject Matter Experts to Facilitate Learning

Both sessions that Dale and Greg are leading focus on helping Talent Development professionals (the key audience at the conference) support Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the training room. It has become standard in the training industry for experts working in the business to share their expertise by training other employees. The challenge is that SMEs are experts in their topic, not experts in adult learning. These sessions are designed to give Talent Development professionals the tools and skills they need to support and coach the SMEs once they enter the training room.

Both sessions will be lively and interactive.

The Evolution of Our Expertise in Training SMEs

Turpin’s expertise in training SMEs has evolved over time. For years, Turpin had focused on the core of the business, which was, and still is, helping business communicators grow their self-awareness and improve their presentation skills. Eventually, clients started asking if Turpin could expand and work with their trainers to be more effective facilitators of learning. Our answer was, “Yes, of course, we could do that.” This work with trainers evolved into helping SMEs be more effective as well.

Speaking about Training SMEs at Conferences

Greg started talking about this topic at industry conferences, and the sessions filled up fast. In 2015, ATD invited Greg back “by popular demand” and scheduled two sessions about the topic. Both rooms, set for 400 each, were so full that monitors had to turn people away.

TD Magazine: Dual Role by Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-BogerThe TD Magazine Article on Training SMEs

ATD saw the writing on the wall -- this was a hot topic. As it turned out, there were lots of resources available for working with SMEs to develop training content, but no one else was talking about coaching SMEs to be more effective once they entered the training room. Seeing the need for more resources on the topic, the good folks in ATD publishing asked Dale and Greg to write the cover article for the April 2016 edition of TD Magazine, which reaches tens of thousands of Learning & Development professionals in over 120 countries. The article was called “Dual Role: SMEs as Trainers in the Classroom.”

The Book on Training SMEs

Effective SMEs: A Trainer's Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate LearningThe success of the TD Magazine article led to Dale and Greg’s latest book, Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning. It was published by ATD Press in November 2017. This book, similar to their first, The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined, takes full advantage of the power of story to help readers visualize the concepts and techniques that are central to their approach.


Interested in learning more about our work and how we can help you and your team? Give us a call or email. 773-294-1566 or

Written by Greg Owen-Boger

Greg Owen-Boger has been with Turpin Communication since 1995, first as a cameraman, then instructor, account manager, and now vice president. Schooled in management and the performing arts, Greg brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to the organization. Greg is one of Turpin’s facilitators and coaches. When he’s not with clients, he manages the day-to-day operations of the company. Greg is an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and was the 2015 President of ATD, Chicagoland Chapter. He is a popular speaker, frequent blogger, and the co-author of the book The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined. His latest book, also co-authored by Dale Ludwig, launched in 2017 and is entitled Effective SMEs: A Trainer’s Guide for Helping Subject Matter Experts Facilitate Learning.