Program Chair Guidelines


Thank you for accepting this important responsibility. Our weekly programs are the heart of our experience as Rotarians. For your given month you become the person we are counting on! Please read these guidelines carefully.

Many people and organizations will request a place on the Rotary schedule. It is your call whether the requests merit a placement.

Aim for interest and diversity. Avoid duplicating an organization or topic in any given month.

Ask the President for help if you are uncertain about a particular speaker or organization, or if you have a last minute cancellation.

You may want to include a presentation from an elected official (US senator, congressman, governor). Check on times that such people are in recess and available.

As soon as your slate is filled, send a statement of speakers and topics to the Program Coordinator so that your four or five programs can be announced in the Cog, on the Club webpage, and to the Press as appropriate. At the latest this information is needed by the middle of the previous month.

Obtain a short bio (3 or 4 lines) from each speaker. This will be printed in the Cog. We are making an effort to cut down the length of introductions and to provide more time for the speaker and for questions.

Find out what kind of equipment (if any) your speaker needs. It is your responsibility to communicate these needs to Scott Shonk ( If you do not do this, no equipment will be available. Scott needs to receive your request one week ahead of the program date.

Be sure the speaker you select is referred to the ‘guidelines for Rotary speakers’ on the club website Better still copy these guidelines and paste them directly into your email to the speaker. Some people may not have permission to open attachments at work, for example.

If possible, arrive ahead of your speaker, be sure the speaker has materials loaded on a laptop or distributed to the tables as needed.

Be prepared to introduce your speaker briefly. Stand beside your speaker for handshakes with club members after the program ends.

After the meeting send a letter of thanks to your speaker. At the beginning of the month the Club Secretary will give you Rotary cards to use for this purpose.