Camden Rotary Club Classification Talk Background and Guidelines
When Rotary was established by Paul Harris and three others, each person came from a different walk of life. This diversity is a cornerstone of Rotary. The intent is to have in your club a cross-section of business and professional experiences in your community.
For decades Rotary International listed a range of professional “classifications” and restricted how many representatives of each could be in a club. This ensures that each club reflects the community in which it serves. It also reminds us to not have one profession as a dominant voice in our club. Over time, these restrictions have pretty much given way, but your classification continues to be of great interest to your fellow club members. That’s why your Rotary badge carries your name and your classification.
Classification talks help us learn about the life experiences and professional backgrounds of new members – but they are not intended to “pitch” your profession for individual gain.
Here are some simple guidelines for giving a classification talk:
  • Put together a plan or outline of what you want to share, knowing that we’ve all been in your position. RELAX! We want to know more about you.
  • State your name, where you work, or have worked, and what you do/did there.
  • Give a brief history of yourself. This can include where you were born, childhood interests and family statistics, people who influenced you, and major life events, such as public or military service or travel.
  • Talk about your work history, training and education. This can include why you chose your profession (or perhaps why it chose you).
  •  If desired, you can share your present hobbies, interests, values and beliefs. This could include why you joined Rotary, what you hope to gain from it, and what you feel you can contribute.
  • You’ll have 20 minutes, including time for Q&A.
  • Feel free to support your presentation with slides, photos and other visuals, but first double check that the club has any a/v equipment you may need.
NOTE: The information I have provided is primarily extracted from a posting by Randy Wright, April 4, 2011, on the Portland, Texas Rotary Club website. Other sources and well as my independent experience were also used. 2/4/2019.