Guidelines for Speakers

When your turn comes up to select a speaker for a club meeting, here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Choose a speaker with a topic of informational, educational, motivational or entertainment value that will be of general interest to all club members.
  • Avoid controversial topics or volatile issues that could arouse anger and division among members. Refer to the Four-Way Test when considering speakers and topics.
  • Avoid repetition or sameness. Look for a speaker we haven’t heard before with a fresh topic.
  • Avoid political or religious topics. Rotary International is a non-political and non-religious organization. As a matter of policy, Rotary Clubs do not take positions on public questions including political or international issues.
  • Avoid political candidates during an election campaign. It’s OK to have a congressman, senator or other elected official speak to our club when the format is simply a report to constituents on congressional or legislative affairs.
  • Avoid local representatives of non-profit organizations. Consider such speakers only if they have a unique topic that is not a sales pitch for funding. Never allow requests for funding unless the request has been formally approved in advance by the club board of directors.
  • Avoid product or service promotion. Advise company executives who are invited to speak to deal with issues that affect their industry and the community and how they cope with them. They should not use the Rotary podium to promote their products or services.


Adopted 3-12-03



One of Rotary's four avenues of service is "Vocational Service", whereby we honor and respect our individual contributions to our community through our vocations. Members are being asked to share their vocation by giving a short self-introduction talk (not a speech). We are doing this in an effort to get to know more about each Derby Rotarian.

The following is a rough guideline for giving a classification talk:

  • It will be given on the day that you are responsible for the program, prior to introducing your guest speaker.
  • The length will be 2-3 minutes
  • The talk is not meant to embarrass you, but to let us get to know you.
  • You are not expected to “come off” as a professional speaker. Most of us are not.
  • If you need to read your notes, do it.


Club Leaders