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March 2023
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A Chance Encounter

By Ruth Tubbesing, CC


Seating was close to capacity one Saturday ­evening for the Vancouver Institute Lecture series at the University of British Columbia, when a white-haired gentleman pointed to an empty seat beside him where I could sit. It was Dr. Ralph Yorsh. He engaged me in conversation about Toastmasters. Any hesitation I had didn’t have a chance. I was flattered when he offered to be my mentor.

I’ve been a member of the Cloverleaf club going on five years now. Ralph draws on his ­tremendous experience to deliver surprising speeches spontaneously, with great presence of mind and, not infrequently, mischievous wit. Ralph is a mentor to everyone in our club, and is tremendously appreciated. 

Yorsh recommends the following: 

  • Record your speech and listen to it.
  • Stay in one place while speaking.
  • Keep your hands at your sides to make any ­gestures more effective.
  • Speak about what you know. 
  • Speak clearly right to the end of each sentence.
  • Seek or, if necessary, create opportunities to speak outside of the club.
  • Don’t give up on Toastmasters; it offers a lifetime of learning.

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