Rotary Club Bakersfield Twilight — Every other meeting of our club, we have either a “vocational moment” or a brief “two truths and a lie” presentation focused on one of our members.  The objective is to get to know most of our membership. We are an age-diversified club with new, young, veteran and seasoned members, each with a story to tell. This year we are making a cooperative effort to develop our understanding of our newly found friends through attention to the Rotary objectives and the Vocational Avenue of Service.

The first program engages every member to be paired with another member to interview and delve into another member’s background to present a brief synopsis of this individual’s vocational career. The second program involves entertainment in the name of “fellowship,” having a member share their personal background on two honest topics and one prevarication– engaging the audience to guess their story that may stretch or exceed the limits of believability.

The “vocational moment” is of primary importance to also foster fellowship based on diversity rather than a similarity of interest. We are asking each member to be a part of sharing their background expertise with fellow Rotarians through their chosen business enterprise, occupation or professional calling. The “interviewer” can present the other member’s vocation and position as cleverly or comedic way and aboveboard as possible to convey an understanding of what we do for a living and how it may be applied in service to Rotary.

Each Rotarian was assigned a classification when they joined Rotary relating to their business/ organization and position. Some have described the classification talk as a talking business card. But it can be so much more than that. The presenter can choose to talk exclusively about the individual’s business or they can share vital and interesting information about the individual’s position, their interests and their expertise.

The presentation can be detailed or compact; but should express a true exploration of a person’s career, its path and posture (possibly, letting the audience guess “who” they might be presenting). Here are some example ideas to explore:

  • Describe the person’s classification/ occupation, business or enterprise; Does it sell or make a product or part, or offer a service?
  • How is the person’s profession, business or enterprise organized (e.g. sole proprietor, partner, corporation, conglomerate, commodities, etc.)
  • Describe the person’s position and what they do on a regular basis, or present a unique opportunity(ies) they provide. How long have they been engaged in this field?
  • What inspired this person to choose such a career path? Who or what influenced their decision? and, when was their decision made to enter their specific business world?
  • What talents and skills are needed to fulfill the duties employed?
  • Biggest challenge(s) encountered/ How were they overcome?
  • Where do they see the future direction of their chosen occupation, business or profession going? Is it opened doors, once-in-a-lifetime, perpetual improvement, succession prosperity, lasting education, sustained momentum, etc.?
  • Do they have a memorial quote that propels one to continue?

This is a ‘big’ chance to help advertise each member’s business, free from fines, and to note the Rotarian’s stature, company, business or organization. The talk is not meant to make the individual feel uncomfortable, however entertaining. We want to know more about our friends in Rotary from a ‘new’ perspective, as much as they want to know more of us. We have not expected the presenters to be a witty or skillful speaker. Most of us are not, so we’ve encouraged the talk with accompanying real objects, props or photos, which can be enjoyed by the audience.