Your Program

STEP 1: 

Decide if you’re going to do your Classification/About Me talk, or invite a speaker.

There are a lot of ideas for speakers down this page a bit. The bottom line is that you want to invite someone you think your fellow club members will find interesting and informative. 


Grab a Digital Packet:


Included in the packet:

  • How to prepare for your program
  • Example text for inviting a speaker
  • Program Ideas
  • Club Fact Sheet to give your speaker to help them prepare


Invite your guest speaker.

Be sure to give or email them the Club Fact Sheet ahead of time so they know a little about us and how many handouts to bring, should they have some. Ask if they need a projector or other tools.  If they do need a projector, call the hotel and arrange for it to be set up for us.

You’ll want to let them know they will have 30 minutes, including Q&A.  We can shorten or lengthen this a bit if the President knows ahead of time.

When your program is confirmed, please send details to for the President, PR Chair, and Webmaster. It’s important that you do this as soon as possible so your program can be promoted.


Your job is to make your guest feel comfortable. 

  • Arrive early so you are on site when they arrive.
  • Buy their food/beverages.
  • People are more comfortable when they know what to expect, so give them an idea of how the meeting unfolds. 
  • Explain the Circle of Hands and be sure they know they aren’t expected to participate in the Pennies for Polio basket, or Fines & Brags.
  • They’ll be watching you for cues on how to behave, so put on your best!
  • You’ll be asked to introduce them briefly at the front of the meeting and do a more in-depth introduction at the start of their program. Keep your introduction to just a minute at most.  You don’t want to cut into their time to talk.
  • Remind them they have 30 minutes and set up a cue you can give them when they have 10, and 5 minutes left.  If you are uncomfortable with this, before the meeting you can ask your President to do so for you


After the meeting.

If a group is breaking off to go to dinner or some other activity, make sure your guest knows they are invited to join the fun. 

Take the opportunity to invite them to attend club meetings any time and be sure they know they don’t need a specific invitation to do so.  If they seem interested, call on them in a week or two and personally invite them to a meeting with a program you think they’d enjoy.


Ideas For Guest Speakers




Diane Kraft, a Rotarian from Kelso, would love to come speak on memory loss in seniors.  She’s available when someone needs a speaker.  360-430-1200.

 Program Ideas

  • Janaky Enterprises – business in Mount Vernon has a product that converts sewer water to drinking water
  • Helicopter drops golf balls – whoever gets closest number to hole wins

Last week, we had Karen Berkey Huntsberger, author of “Waiting for Peace-The Journals & Correspondence of a WWII Medic”.  She was well organized, knowledgeable, entertaining and gave a great presentation. We had several retired military guys who could really relate to her story. She has spoken to several rotary clubs. I would highly recommend Karen.  Her contact information is:   503-857-0378 or 541-979-5645 cell

Dr. Nancy Rogene- She has spoken at other rotary clubs and was well received. Her presentation is on ‘Racial Dynamics in the United States: Past and Present”.  503-682-0957  –Rtn Ronda Butler

Matt & Bobbie Brown- Matt is the Director of FoodWaves. Fabulous presentation on helping people grow gardens, lots of humor, our club asked lots of questions and was really engaged.   503-891-4083  –Rtn Ronda Butler

Jennifer Koozer- Community Affairs Manager for TriMet. Great presentation on the new Orange Line opening Sept. 12th from downtown Portland to Milwaukie. 503-805-2193. Very informative.  –Rtn Ronda Butler

Jill Marie Wiles- Highly accomplished and Professional Auctioneer. She captured the title of International Auctioneer Champion Woman’s Division in 2001after competing with 84 other woman during a 12 hour event focused on bid calling and auction skills. Got our group engaged and even auctioned off two Rotarian’s to do yard work for another Rotarian. JillMarie uses her public speaking skills to increase awareness of organizations dedicated to improving the world. 503-312-4946.  –Rtn Ronda Butler

We just had Rodrigo Baena speak to our group and I am very impressed with him and his message:  “5 secrets to happiness – from a Brazilian perspective”
Would you like to learn some tools to be happier, have greater relationships and be more successful? Join the Brazilian Happiness Coach and Founder of the Portland Happiness Center Rodrigo Baena, as he shares some ideas to helping you reaching your highest potential.
 Rodrigo is a Certified Executive Coach, Speaker and author. His forthcoming book is “Happiness is money – the new economy of happier, healthier and wealthier people”
He has some very interesting statistics about happiness in Oregon beyond the 5 secrets to happiness. Excellent speaker with a powerful message!

 –Connie Shipley

We had an interesting and entertaining program presented today by Dick Karman – the man behind the mic’ and a large volume of radio history. Dick is conversant about both the technical aspects of the development of radio and the personalities that helped shape the industry.  He prefers to have 40 minutes to cover his material adequately but he was very gracious with regard to working within our 30 minute constraints – just don’t ask him to whittle it down any further. He has a very busy schedule so if you contact him be sure to be planning well in advance for a date. You can contact him at:   –Bob Peterson

 I recommend Stephanie to talk about preparing for the end of our lives. She has written a book, The Sandbox Games, in which she talks about the gift we can give our children by having our affairs in order and what happens if we don’t. She is a Toastmaster and knows how to keep the group engaged and keep it interesting and light (for a difficult subject). She can be reached at 503-803-7360 or  –Rtn Connie Shipley

 Our Legacy, Our Family: End of Life

For  over thirty years Stephanie Payne has been a practicing RN with special interest in Home Health and Hospice.  Her education is varied and diverse:  St. Louis Community College, Webster University and Landmark Education.  Ms. Payne is an artist, author, documentary film producer, and public speaker.  Her passion is helping families understand the importance of end of life decisions that will impact not only ourselves but future generations.  She is also a frequent guest on radio stations broadcast worldwide.  As a humanist and a supporter of equal rights for all, her message is timely and passionate.  We can make the end of our lives empowering, if we are real and caring for both our own needs and the needs of our loved ones.

 Teaching Parenting Skills to Oregon Corrections Inmates

Sarah Lazzari and Amanda Lee regarding the programs available to inmates or the Oregon Corrections system. The theme is that building family relationships and ties will improve success for inmates when they are released. These programs teach parenting skills to inmates that never had a good parenting role model. I recommend this very interesting program. You can contact Sarah Lazzari at

How Rotary changes lives for the better

Rtn Dave Spencer provided his home club, West Linn,  a power point overview and presentation of his trip to Guatemala with the RC of Fresno and the work Rotary is doing in that part of the world.  His presentation is first rate. It is a compelling visual on how Rotary changes lives for the better.

They visited the towns of Guatemala City, Coban, and Lanquin. Working with the local Rotary Club in Guatemala City, in the relatively short period of about 10 days, they touched 1,500 lives, providing wheelchairs, medical supplies(Pharmaceuticals), books and musical instruments to a largely Mayan population in remote areas. The entire cost of the trip was the responsibility of each team member meaning that virtually 100% of donations went directly to the people for whom it was intended.  A lot more to this story, but I’ll let Dave tell it.  Dave’s e-mail is  His phone number is 503-744-0015

Manufacturing charcoal from grass in Haiti

John Stein from BonZeb (good grass) : BónZeb is a ‘not-for-profit’ organization dedicated to enriching the lives of the indigenous populations of countries with depressed economies, to bring about socioeconomic development. We accomplish these developments through the creation of jobs in the manufacturing of charcoal from grass. In addition to the charcoal manufacturing process, additional jobs will include agriculture in the growing, maintaining and harvesting of these high yield crops.  We give back to the communities we serve by investing in their infrastructures. WE ARE HERE TO LEND A HAND CREATING NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PEOPLE OF HAITI THROUGH THE MANUFACTURING OF CHARCOAL FROM GRASS 

Thomas J. Stein President BonZeb, Inc P.O. Box 3553 Gresham, OR 97030

Wheelchairs in Antigua
Lots of folks in the district know Transitions and John Bell. Our Portland Club had a $49,500 Matching Grant in 1998 that put a wheelchair manufacturing site in Antigua, Guatemala for them. Disabled Guatemalans are the staff who build the customized wheelchairs. The site was set up by San Francisco State University’s Whirlwind Program in their engineering department.

We’ve had many of the wheelchair riders multiple times in our district — for surgeries, to play basketball at halftime at a Trail Blazer game, and both John and the co-founder Alex Galvez (a disabled Guatemalan who received medical care back east which saved his life) have often spoke to clubs. We’ve had subsequent matching grants and money in Global Grants (not always with district DDF) regularly for many years. Warren, Rik Stoddard (Hermiston), and Ken Van Domlen (Tigard Noon) in fact are visiting Transitions facilities today. They met with John over the weekend when they arrived in Antigua. Newberg, Greater Clark, and Battleground and others have supported Transitions for a number of years as well.

Rotarians from several clubs are attempting to locate a warehouse with a vertical lift to put a pallet of donated wheelchairs together to ship back to Guatemala wheelchair types that Transitions does not manufacture. They build chairs for village and rutted road use. They have a need for some pediatric and hospital and nursing home style chairs that wouldn’t survive on cobblestone and dirt streets and roads. I’m just blank on the name of the non-profit that is currently holding wheelchairs for Transitions.

Thank you all so much for your support and confidence in the quality of work we do. Each one of our clients is a star and their lives will have just taken a turn for the better, they are not alone, we will be here

From all, looking forward to seeing so many friends in D-5100

I will be available to speak to Rotary clubs from the 4th of March until the 2nd of April.

John Bell

 We had Jeff Fish speak at our meeting on “Homes For Our Troops” . It was very interesting and I would recommend him to speak at one of your meetings. A selected few builders in the Portland area build homes for Veterans that have been selected by a National Committee to receive a home ( either by loss of limb or brain injury). His email is   –  Judy Tester, Southeast Portland Rotary




Consider doing Vocational Service by giving your own Classification Talk. A great way to share information about your vocation is to give a classification talk when it’s your turn to schedule the club program.

Tried and True Speakers!

For Information, or to join the SOS list, contact John Amond at

For the District 5100 Speakers Bureau, contact:
John Sauer at
or Scott Calhoun at

More Ideas:


  • During The Rotary Year, 10 Months Have Assigned Rotary Topics:
    • August: Membership And Extension
    • September: New Generations
    • October: Vocational Service
    • November: The Rotary Foundation
    • December: The Family Of Rotary
    • January: Rotary Awareness
    • February: Word Understanding
    • March: Literacy Month
    • April: The Rotary Magazine
    • June: Rotary Fellowship
    More information on the Rotary Calendar
  • District Assembly: What/Why
  • District Conference: What/Why
  • International Rotary Convention: What/Why
  • District Leadership Training: What/Why

Community Service

  • The Neighborhood Associations
    Local Police, Fire And Emergency Service
  • Dept of Transportation
  • Feature A Local Business
  • Immunization
  • Good Turn Day
  • Neighborhood Surveys
  • Community Celebrations, Festivals
  • Community Town Meetings
  • Community Development
  • Economic Development
  • Chamber, Visitors Bureau
  • Community History
  • Historical Society
  • Foster Parenting

Our States, Our Nation

  • Ports
  • Oregon, Washington Fish And Game
  • The State Parks System
  • The National Economy
  • Foreign Policy, Future In A World
  • Economy


  • Have You Read A Good Book Lately?
  • Movie Reviews
  • How To Be A Good Storyteller
  • How To Tell A Joke Or Joke Telling
  • Day

Political Arena

  • ALWAYS Invite All Candidates
  • ALWAYS Present Both Sides of An Issue
  • Report From The Mayor, City Council,Commissioners, State Legislature
  • Local Issues, Key State Measures,
  • Candidate’s Forum, Political Presentations,
  • National Issues


  • Report From Public Schools
  • Grays Harbor, Clatsop Colleges
  • Home Schooling
  • School Success Stories
  • School Problems And Solutions
  • Head Start
  • Lifelong Learning

Culture & The Arts

  • The Changing Face Of The Pacific NW
  • Immigration In America
  • The Washington Historical Society
  • Black History Month
  • Religions Of The World
  • The Native American World

International Service

  • Rotary Youth Exchange
  • Rotary Friendship Exchanges
  • World Community Service
  • Nat’l Immunization Days/Polio Plus
  • Ambassadorial Scholar’s Report
  • Peace And Conflict Scholars

Self Improvement & Health

  • Do I Need A Will And An Estate Plan?
  • Personal Finance, Planning For Retirement
  • Health Maintenance Management
  • Personal Health & Wellness
  • What Do Men/Women Need To Watch?
  • Blood Pressure And Cholesterol
  • Changing Careers, How And Why
  • Travel, Where, Why And How

…And Anything Else You Want!

What connections do you have in the
community who could do a program that
would interest your fellow Rotarians?