As a club we are able to provide a more experienced member to support and guide new members as they begin their Toastmaster’s journey.

This involves not only orientation in the way that the club and Toastmasters International works but also support when writing and presenting speeches.

The following members are available to mentor:

Diane Wilkinson

DianeWilkinsonAs well as running the mentorship program for the club, I am also available to take on mentees. As a Dental Hygienist and Nutritional Therapist I have experience in coaching and advising. If we work together, I can give you the benefit of over 8 years experience as a ToastMaster.

I will keep in touch with you and help you with the various roles within the club, as well as helping you prepare and deliver speeches. If you think this style may help you in your progress, I am happy to help and am willing to take the challenge of most characters.

Phil Gladwell

I joined Newbury Speakers in December 2006 in order to improve my communication skills and confidence in front of an audience. As a Project Manager, wanting to hide in the corner and not speak at meetings wasn’t doing my career or my nerves any good. I needed to be able to run the meetings and to speak with confidence.

I have served on the Club Committee in various roles, had a term as Area Director and have represented the Club at a number of Speech Contests. I have also helped deliver over thirty Speechcraft courses for the Club.

When I joined I had no idea how far my Toastmasters journey would take me. I have come a long way and learnt a lot, but still appreciate that it’s a big deal to be able to stand up in front of an audience and communicate effectively.

As a mentor I’m happy to support with as little or as much as required, and am always
willing to pass on my ideas and experience from my time at Newbury Speakers Club.

David Brinsdon

I have been a member of Toastmasters for more than 6 years and have regularly competed in competitions, even representing the club at Area and Divisional level. I regularly present to a range of audiences which often requires adaption of my speaking style to the group and use multiple techniques to get key messages across. I offer a listening and supportive style whilst encouraging the mentee to step outside their comfort zone in order to discover new things about themselves and develop their speaking/leadership style. I expect the  mentee to be a self-starter and come to me with challenges when they reach a point of indecision or query the next steps of their development.

Norman Bird

Norman BirdMy attitude is very simple. I am basically very prepared to help anyone who requests me to do so. However, the mentee must chase me because I shall not pursue him/her. I always prefer to help anyone who is serious about improving their command of the language, and therefore I tend to have as a preference non-native English speaking mentees.


Carl Smith

I have been a member of Newbury Speakers since 2010 and have successfully completed CC and CL and am currently working through my ACB speeches. I serve on the committee as VP Membership and see myself being a bridge between when a new member signs up,  before they are assigned to a specific mentor should they opt for one.

I intend to give mentoring in the early stages (speeches 1-4) and would like to develop the use of Zoom to provide this. I would like to mentor those who are less confident and struggle to make speeches.

Kate Jones

I joined Toastmasters in 2010 and during this time I have completed my Competent Communicator, Competent Leader and Advanced Leader Bronze as well as earning the sought after Triple Crown – 3 awards in one year.

I live in Reading so meeting in Newbury is not ideal but I’m happy to turn up earlier / stay 10 minutes after a meeting. Face-to face contact is important to me but we all live busy lives and sometimes all that’s needed is a quick question by email. Other options in addition to conversations at the club and email are phone or Skype.

I am looking to set up a framework of expectations with a mentee so we are both clear on our roles, what we can give and what we can expect in return.

I have a laid-back style and I welcome a self-starter who can come to me with questions  (always easier than a blank piece of paper) but I am happy to explore solutions to issues / problems / challenges.

I am very conscious that feedback has to be balanced and that it is important to commend someone as well as recommend them for things they do well. If however you require a sterner approach let me know.

Ray Wilton

Ray WiltonI started my speakers club journey by taking a place on a Speechcraft course while employed by Vodafone, the course facilitated by Newbury Speakers. The idea was to  improve my confidence at speaking in meetings and presentations. Shortly after I joined the club and was made president very soon after.

I have served in many committee roles, and area governor. I also love the contests and have managed to get as far as division evaluation contest just once. My role as VP PR required me to keep in touch with external bodies that might directly promote the club or take part in activities where the club can be recognised.

I am a consultant project manager and the leadership and speaking skills are important to my success in generating business for myself. I also serve on committees for Newbury Angling Association and the Newbury Society. For fun I grow fruit and vegetables on my allotment.