If you have agreed to give a program for us, here are a few things you may want to know:
- Location: Our club meets every Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall of Fairhope United Methodist Church (see “Where We Meet”).
- Time: Although our stated meeting time is 12:30–1:30, many of our members arrive at noon (to get started on lunch and enjoy more fellowship), and you may also want to arrive early in order to have time to get set up and finish your meal before you’re “on.”
- Schedule: We usually start the business part of the meeting about 12:45 in order to allow the featured speaker to begin his or her program by 1:00. You will have about 20–25 minutes for your program. Be aware that you must be finished by 1:30 or you will lose your audience! You may want to finish sooner than that to allow time for Q&A.
- Equipment: If you have a PowerPoint presentation or video, we can provide a screen and a digital projector, but you must supply the laptop. The built-in projector requires an HDMI connection. If you do not have an HDMI port on your laptop, you will be responsible for supplying an adapter. Many speakers have told us that the setup is the easiest they have ever encountered.
- Displays and Handouts: We can provide limited display space for posters or artifacts (with advance notice, we may be able to arrange for more). If you bring brochures or other handouts to distribute to tables, be aware that our current attendance is about 35–40 (though if you put out that much literature, you will usually be able to pick up most of it at the end of your presentation).
- Introduction: Please provide a short bio or CV in advance or on arrival; this will be used for your introduction. You may also want to send a copy to the club’s executive secretary for possible inclusion in the weekly bulletin (space permitting).
- To see a schedule of upcoming programs, see our Upcoming Programs page.
Even More Information
For speakers who like to know exactly what to expect, here’s a rundown of how it works:
Arrival and Setup (12–12:30 p.m.)
When you should arrive will depend on how much setup you have. If you will just be speaking from notes, 12:30 is plenty of time; if you will be using the projector, you should allow more time to get your laptop connected and everything working.
You may want to sit at the table directly in front of the speaker’s lectern. Others at this “head table” will include the executive secretary, the president, the program chairman, and/or the person who invited you to speak.
Lunch (12–12:45 p.m.)
Other members will be filtering in during this time. They will be picking up their lunch, and, after you have gotten set up, you should do the same (unless you’re subject to speaker’s nerves or worried about spinach stuck in your teeth). Enjoy your meal!
During this time, the designated Fund Raiser will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets. You may purchase one or more ($1 for one, $2 for three, and so on) if you choose. The winner gets half the pot; the rest goes to the club.
Preliminaries (12:45–1 p.m.)
Starting about 12:45 (earlier if there are many announcements), the president will ring the bell to call the meeting to order. There will be an invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the recitation of the Rotary Four-Way Test (this is displayed on a banner in the front of the room and also printed on the back of your bulletin). After that, the president will introduce visiting Rotarians and allow members to introduce their guests. The club’s chaplain will present “Family of Rotary” concerns, and the Sergeant-at-Arms will levy fines and solicit Happy Dollars. There will often be announcements about upcoming events, both of the club and of other organizations.
Your Turn (1–1:25 p.m.)
Finally, when all the “housekeeping” has been taken care of (ideally about 1 p.m., sometimes a little later if the announcements have run even longer than the president allowed for), someone (the club president, the person who invited you to speak, or a member of the Program Committee) will introduce you, using the introduction you have provided (keep it short so you’ll have more time to speak!). As noted above, some members will have to leave at 1:30 whether you’re finished or not, but most will prefer to be able to stick around for the 50/50 drawing, so be sure to leave time for that! You may also want to leave time for Q&A. And of course, no one ever objects if your program runs short and the meeting dismisses early!