Radio’s Ray Wilton: How to give the perfect speech

PUBLISHED: 12:05 11 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:59 11 September 2020

Ray Wilton  Photo: Ray Wilton

Ray Wilton Photo: Ray Wilton


The Berkshire presenter and toastmaster shares his best tips

Ray has been a long-standing resident of Newbury

Photo: Roger Utting Photography/Getty/iStockphotoRay has been a long-standing resident of Newbury Photo: Roger Utting Photography/Getty/iStockphoto

What do you love most about the Royal county?

The amazing landscape in the Kennet Valley. Yes, the county is densely built up, but look around and the great scenes are there to be found.

Any favourite local discoveries?

Greenham Common continues to give me little surprises when you step off the main paths. Things like the fire fighting 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. If you have never heard of it, it’s a six-week program 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 prevaricated a while, 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. And that was it, my journey had properly begun.

What awards have you won?

Competent Leader and Competent Communicator came within two years. The bronze awards two years later. Things were moving swiftly. After my year as president, I became vice president (education) for the next five years.

For a while after that my progress slowed down, it took four years to complete Advanced Communicator Silver. However I was still doing significant things with the club. I became part of the Speechcraft team, 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

Around 2017, I’d been made redundant from Vodafone, and I took my communication skills to my local community radio station. I secured an interview, actually battered them into submission, on their Friday chat show to plug Newbury Speakers Club. I so enjoyed the radio experience that I asked for my own show. Since then, I have developed four different shows on Kennet Radio, usually a show each week.

Goals for the future?

I hope to retire in a few years, which will allow me to develop my rail photography. I’m also thinking about starting a blog site related to public speaking and radio presenting articles. So is my journey over? Most certainly not. The Newbury Speakers Club membership has changed completely since I started. All those people have never heard my icebreaker. I can use my skills to benefit club members through evaluation, mentoring and other ways. And don’t forget the contests. Oh yes! I will be back into those, bigger and stronger. Its 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.

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