Speeches and Sermons

Margaret Anderson is usually invited back to speak to any group that has heard her once. Her talks make excellent programs for luncheon and dinner meetings, and where permitted, inspiring guest sermons.  Examples include:

The Silver Rule of Consensus
We all know the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated. But did you know there is a Silver Rule? The Silver Rule of consensus can help us get more of what we need from one another while building bridges, not burning them.

Persuasion vs. Ethics – It’s No Contest
When something seems too good to be true, it usually is.  There are, however, exceptions.  Surprisingly, the most productive persuasion techniques are also compatible with high ethical standards. Hear how we can get our needs met while building bridges, not burning them.

A Tale of Two Meetings
A department store staff met to discuss a minor conflict.  The net result of that meeting was years of major conflict.  Two highly conflicted political interests met to discuss amending a California tax law.  The net result of this meeting was near-miraculous consensus.  The difference lay in how the two groups communicated.  Learn why and gain tips for communicating in ways that are effective as well as caring.

Greed, Envy and Consensus Building                                                                                                                          In hunter-gatherer days, humans selected for greed and envy in order to survive. Nowadays, these traits sometimes defeat our own interests, especially when seeking consensus. But we can modify our hard wiring for greed and envy. And we don’t have to choose between compromising our own interests versus taking advantage of others. We can actually get more of what we want by addressing others’ interests along with our own.

Why Can’t They Just…
…be more logical?  …prevent the problem now instead of waiting to repair its effects?  …see that there’s a pattern here?  When people frustrate us, when we can’t fathom their decisions and actions, temperament differences often play a role.  Learn how we can communicate better with those who puzzle us.

How Rational Are We?
A man says “he decided to” raise his arm, when in fact, a research scientist triggered the action with an electrode.  Seventy-six percent of homeowners who display a small “Drive Safely” window sticker later accept a large, ugly “Drive Safely” sign for their front yard.  New brain science shows what a small role our conscious “reasoning” plays in determining our behavior.  But that tiny rational portion of our brain’s activity is all it takes to lead a better life, if we learn how to direct it.

Wisdom from Middle Earth
Were Frodo and Gandalf spiritual?  Like ourselves, these characters in the classic Lord of the Rings fantasies lived in troubling times.  Frodo’s Fellowship used several coping strategies that resonate with people of faith, strategies that can supply us with comfort, direction, beauty, and even fun as we work to build bridges for a better world.

Praise for Margaret’s Presentations:

In her “Lord of the Rings” sermon Margaret Anderson skillfully identifies principles and values common to people of faith, as they weave through the Tolkein stories. She is thought-provoking, humorous and inspiring. She is a remarkable speaker who can say so much in so few words, and gives us hope and guidance at the same time.

– Margaret Canavan, Retired psychotherapist,
Congregational Program/Worship Committee

Margaret Anderson’s presentation takes the wisdom of Ben Franklin’s stated virtue: “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself” into the realm of feelings, thoughts, and deeds.

         – Andy Savidge, Non-profit leader