Speaking from experience
Ray Wilton lives in Wash Common, is a presenter on Kennet Radio and a member of Newbury Speakers
What do you love most about the Royal County? The amazing landscape in the Kennet Valley. The county is densely built up, but look around and the great scenes are there to be found.
What are your favourite local discoveries?
Greenham Common continues to give me little surprises when you step off the main paths. Things like the firefighting plane and preserved fuel tank keep it alive historically.
Tell us about your involvement with
Newbury Speakers Club
I have been a member of Toastmasters for over 12 years. Back in 2007, while I was a project manager at Vodafone, I was looking at my personal development plan. I had done all the job-specific training available and I needed something else. At the time, Newbury Speakers Club had got themselves on to Vodafone’s approved supplier register to provide Speechcraft training. It’s a six-week programme that any club can deliver to another organisation, and the club is even allowed to charge a small amount to boost club funds. I went on the course, led by Phil Gladwell and Tony Henderson-Newport. At the end, Newbury Speakers gave everyone a goody pack, which of course included a membership form.
I realised I enjoyed making speeches and I joined the club a few months later in March 2008. Three months further on a new committee was needed, Phil and Tony cornered me and suggested, nay told me, I would be the next president. My journey had properly begun.
What awards have you won? Competent Leader and Competent Communicator and the bronze awards came quite quickly. After my year as president, I became vice president (education) for the next five years. It took four years to get Advanced Communicator Silver. Meanwhile, I became part of the Speechcraft team for the club, delivering courses with Phil Gladwell into Vodafone, Accenture and Sovereign. These are big names for a small club to supply.
Next I had to get Advanced Communication Gold, Advanced Leader Silver and a High Performance Leadership project, which meant that my Distinguished Toastmasters was complete.
Tell us about your radio shows In 2017, I’d been made redundant and I took my communication skills to my local community radio station. I secured an interview on their Friday chat show to plug Newbury Speakers Club. I so enjoyed the experience that I asked for my own show. Since then, I have developed four different shows on Kennet Radio.
Goals for the future?
I hope to retire in a few years, which will allow me to develop my rail photography. I may also start a blog site related to public speaking and radio presenting. The Newbury Speakers Club membership has changed since I started. All those people have never heard my icebreaker, and I can help club members through evaluation and mentoring. I will be back into the contests, bigger and stronger. It has been a journey. It started with one step, the hardest one of all: walking into the meeting for the first time. But I’ve never looked back.
Ray Wilton on Kennet Radio BELOW: Ray has been a long-standing resident of Newbury