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Action, Interaction and Reaction from the Ritz team

“Ideas worth spreading” are worth spreading well

Posted: October 29, 2010 - 9:30 AM ET - by Elisabeth

It’s hard to convey the amazing experience of attending TEDxMidwest in a brief post (and a long post wouldn’t be true to the nature of TED*); there’s so much information and inspiration from individuals who are changing the world through their ideas and actions. One of the most impressive aspects of TED was the quality of the presentations. Each speaker’s style was as exceptional as his or her content.

My colleagues and I are often asked to speak to groups and to prepare experts and executives for a variety of talks from conference lectures to media interviews, so it was interesting – and instructive – to reflect on what made the TED presentations so engaging. The best presenters shared three common traits:

Passion for the topic
How strongly do you feel about the topic?  Whether its life changing, task changing or just keeping up with what’s changing, how much do you care … because that will be evident to your audience.  As a presenter, your interest and attitude are a significant part of what engages us.

Enthusiastic delivery
Passion about a topic doesn’t always translate to enthusiasm for sharing the information with an audience.  If you’re shy, if you’re a writer not a speaker, or if you’re one of the people statistics claim are more afraid of public speaking than dying (as Jerry Seinfeld says, you’d rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy), how do you muster up the confidence, let alone courage, to portray your passion to an audience?  You really have to tap into whatever it is that makes you so passionate about the topic to find self-assurance.  The energy with which you deliver the idea is as important as the idea itself.

A point to make
This one should be obvious. The topic matters so much to you that you have become an expert. Tell us what you want us to know about this issue or idea. Be as crisp and compelling as you can. Provide a startling statistic or a gripping anecdote. Sum up with a memorable phrase or a picture worth 1,000 words. Even weeks after TEDxMidwest, attendees were tweeting about Sylvia Earle’s presentation on the importance of protecting the ocean in order to preserve the entire planet “No blue, no life. No blue, no green.”

… and if you want to see some great examples, check out http://www.ted.com/talks.

* If you’re not familiar with TED, it is ”riveting talks by remarkable people” delivered at annual conferences and now online. TEDx is a program of independently organized events that follow the TED format.


Lessons in leadership: A balanced approach

Posted: October 26, 2010 - 12:06 PM ET - by Ritz

Communique recently interviewed healthcare communicators for their views on what qualities a leader needs to be successful.  Elisabeth Ritz shared her insights on a balanced approach to leadership.  Read more


A promise and an invitation

Posted: October 14, 2010 - 8:04 PM ET - by Elisabeth

My cooking skills are … well … remedial.

“Remove tray from box. Cut film cover to vent. Cook on High 4 minutes.”

However, I do recognize a good recipe:

1. hard work,

2. stick-to-it-iveness,

3. a little naiveté (because if you really knew, let’s face it, you would never eat fast food, move, or start a company),

4. good luck, and

5. the true sign of a good meal — a great group of people to share it with.

The real key to our successful recipe for Ritz Communications has been the people; it’s thanks to them we live up to the words: “Innovative Agency. Exceptional Service. Extraordinary Results.

As communications professionals, we’ve all spent a lot of years working to establish reputations and brands for our clients. We’ve learned from success, failure and observation. As the format and forum for communications evolves, we’re excited to share our knowledge and perspective — and some revolutionary thoughts.

So, here we are — with a promise and an invitation.

AIRtime is our forum for sharing our insights and examples, which often include the ingredients from our recipe above. In addition to members of our team, we’ll invite clients and experts to provide perspective on communications issues, best practices, and even what it takes to manage this successful agency – and we invite you to join the conversation.