PUTTING WISDOM INTO WORDS
Sunday, June 25, 1995 Page: 1G
TO TED RITSICK, TALK IS LIFE ITSELF.
Putting wisdom into words
To Ted Ritsick, talk is life itselfFor the past three years, the local
entrepreneur has been teaching public speaking, which he calls "life skills,"
to students at King's College in Wilkes-Barre.
Just a few months ago, he decided to widen his educational net to catch
professionals seeking both to learn communication skills and further their
careers. Three local professionals are completing Ritsick's first targeted
course. Five, including accounting, insurance and health-care professionals,
are signed up for his next class, which begins in late July.
"If you have two people with the same professional skills, the one that can
speak well wins," says the ever-positive Ritsick, who owns Industrial
Marketing Co. on North Pennsylvania Avenue.
Two members of Ritsick's current class, Melanie Mancuso and Dana Mascioli,
are both Wilkes-Barre-area professionals who hope to parlay new communication
skills into enhanced careers.
"Coming in, I had a mild fear of public speaking," says Mancuso. "But this
course has surpassed my expectations. It's a different approach that almost
takes away all the fear."
Ritsick teaches his students to make "paperless" presentations -- no
written speeches, no notes. The students develop a "hook" or thesis and pay
off their audience with a "what's in it for me" finish. In between, his
students to use "pictures" to "see" their presentation. After each in-class
presentation, Ritsick orally critiques his students and later provides a
written review. Although he reviews the presentations, he always provides
positive reinforcement and coaching rather than critical observations.
"I sometimes handle presentations for the executive director," says
Mascioli, who works for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Technology Council. "In
the past, I've found it hard to address my audience. Now, I'm looking forward
to tomorrow's meeting."
Judging from class presentations recently, Ritsick's students have
developed into smooth and interesting public speakers able to quickly and
efficiently communicate ideas and arguments.
And that's the point, Ritsick says, whether in public or private
presentations and discussions.
"Students like Dana and Melanie don't have too many peers in the
decision-making process," says Ritsick. "They have to prove themselves more
than most males. That's a hurdle. If that's the reason they take this course,
it's a good one."
There are five more openings for Ritsick's July 20 to Aug. 31 class, which
will be held at King's College. Call 829-4276 for details.
Jim Mullay is The Times Leader Business Editor. His column appears on