Speak­ing from ex­pe­ri­ence

Berkshire Life - - MY BERKSHIRE LIFE -

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.

Visit new­burys­peak­ers.org

Ray Wil­ton on Ken­net Ra­dio BE­LOW: Ray has been a long-stand­ing res­i­dent of New­bury

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