The importance of the Craft Talk!

Every club has speakers…..some good, others we wish had ended up at the Lions Club in error. Vocational Service starts at home with our own clubs! How can we be examples to others if we don’t tune ourselves up first while at the same time…..nourishing our own roots as Rotarians? One of the best things I have taken away from Rotary meetings at other clubs……has been listening to members give craft talks. Giving a craft talk is an art……however being on the receiving end can and is one of the most enlightening things a Rotarian can experience.

Every club has a gold mine of members that can speak about the craft they participate in ……the history, changes, trends, advantages, problems and opportunities. Sharing this information with fellow members is very much the backbone of Rotary and where it started. When a member gives a craft talk…..a lot goes through the minds of the audience. After hearing a Craft Talk given at a club, here were some thoughts:

1) This was not a “dull” meeting that members showed up for, this was a vibrant engaging meeting that members were involved in. I’ll bet that everyone in that room thought about that meeting for many days afterward…..the content, the way it was said … but most importantly the depth and understanding of the vocation that the craft talk was explaining.

2) I for one started thinking …… this guy could be an incredible mentor for a young person that might want to both know about and/or move into the insurance industry. What an opportunity for a Rotarian to be able to really make a difference in a young life……and at the same time help to “breed” integrity in his field.

3) There is a such a difference between the typical
“Whom am I” that a lot of members give either when they are inducted into a club or asked to speak about themselves and the true craft talk.

Not only does the craft talk engage the other members… is imparting information that they would otherwise never be exposed to. The craft talk also puts the member presenting in a new professional light that the other members never saw shining on this member. Additionally skill sets that the presenter has in a particular field…may very well benefit the club in ways that the rest of the membership never even dreamed of to help on projects, club leadership, youth services etc. These skill sets never would have been discovered by the rest of the club, district etc. had the craft talk never taken place.

All new members need to be in gear and engaged from the moment they are inducted…..otherwise when the clutch is let out……they are in neutral, go nowhere, get bored and leave Rotary. What better method of getting members (long time and new) to expose their skill set than a craft talk. Off premise and occasional meetings that deviate from the normal club meeting schedule are a breath of fresh air…..and bring us back to where Rotary started 110 years ago……They certainly got it right then……maybe we can all re-visit our Rotary roots and learn a great deal.

Think about it…..