Sample Speech Topics

The following are offered as possible topics, though we are willing to tailor speeches and workshops to suit your group as closely as we can:

Sponsored Lectures:

Introductory speeches are available to acquaint your audience with the principles and plans of the project Planetary Management Now, which was initiated by Bruce Small and Howard Rubin to help the world become more proactive and avoid an endless series of major crises similar to climate change.

  1. Planetary Management

    The earth is a huge and complex system. It has uncountable parts, each of which affects a whole lot of other parts. If we fiddle with one part, we affect many other outcomes within the system. If we design a solution to one specific problem without an eye on how the entire system will react to those changes, we can only expect to be surprised and disappointed by the real outcomes. What those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s have been fighting for, and hoping will ultimately happen, is that we collectively will understand that what is needed is not just action on climate change, not just action to avoid loss of species, not just action to preserve the planet's fresh water system, not just action to avoid polluting every corner of the earth, but a major change in mindset that would demand that we know better what we are doing when we mess with complex systems like the Earth.

    We need a global initiative, funded handsomely by public, private, and charitable sources, to employ the most eager, the most intelligent, and the most forward thinking people we can find, to develop in considerable detail a functioning science of planetary management based on a competent systems approach. Needed more than ever before, and as important to everyone's survival as any project could ever be, planetary management deserves focus and commitment from all our world's leaders, all of our world's universities and research establishments, and as many of our bright, eager people of all ages as can get their heads around the concept.

  2. How the World Really Works

    From thermodynamics to recycling, this topic provides a gut-feel understanding of all those physical issues about the world that you could never really hang together properly in your mind. When does recycling make sense, and when not? Is the universe getting more disordered, or the other way around? Why does more garbage make better sense than less? Why don't we understand that energy can be dangerous when it short-circuits? Is our society physically sustainable? Can we generate order out of chaos? Can the planet really be saved? A refreshing viewpoint on all the things we would have hoped to understand by now, this topic is a rapid-paced overview of the real function of the world around us. Great for all ages.

Non-Sponsored Corporate Lecture Possibilities:

The following are representative of non-sponsored topics that can be tailored to specific corporate environments, either as special events or as part of continuing education at all levels.

  1. Ghosts Around the Table

    Most people tend to present themselves each day as a fluid combination of a live, present thinking human being and as an actor in an ancient replay of childhood dramas. These dramas and their endless interplay with each other occupy a great deal of time and corporate resources, and can be responsible for business disasters even on a very large scale. Empire building on the office floor is no different from world political dramas of history - they are based on unresolved distresses that demand attention and defy business logic. Being able to stickhandle a real corporate agenda around these ghost-like obstacles is a skill that can be turned into profit.

  2. Squeezing Productivity Through Environmental Health

    Particularly in times when a small cohort is called upon to be massively productive, the physical health of the business environment becomes ever more important. Most people are unaware of the decrement in performance that can be caused by even a modest amount of indoor pollution in the workplace. Relatively minor adjustments in the indoor environment can yield improvements in health, quality of thinking, productivity, and employee allegiance. Making the corporate environment healthy should not wait until hard times are over - clear heads and healthy thinkers are required to pull companies through difficult times.

  3. Fear and Hope - Personal Components of the Global Business Environment

    We are easily led to think that the world economy is not as heavily dependent on human moods as it really is. In reality, hopes and fears have an enormous effect on values, events, trade, profit, success and failure on every scale from local to global. Understanding how fears are propagated is essential to reducing instabilities in the business environment. Being able to recognize a rise in fear in the public and corporate environment, and being able to design methods of either dampening fear or generating hope, are very potent business and government tools. Being able to recognize one's own fears when they are triggered in an external environment of trepidation is the ultimate stress-reducer and source of clarity. Becoming fearless is a legitimate business strategy.

  4. Respect Training - Honoring Diversity in the Workplace

    In our cosmopolitan urban world, there is virtually no workplace that is homogeneous. At the same time, most of us carry remnants of stereotypes learned in childhood that affect how we see each other. No matter how heavily veiled by 'political correctness', these attitudes leak out, whether in choice of language, style of humor, or even body language. The result is workplace tension, revolving around the now unspoken issues of skin color, ancestral origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, education, experience, class, age, height, weight, dress, wealth, poverty and a thousand other more subtle characteristics. An innovative look at work relations, this topic focuses on the inner work that each of us needs to do to clear out old assumptions and address work colleagues in a fresh and uncontaminated manner.
Personal Growth Workshops and Lectures:

In any organization, nothing can ruin things faster than adverse personal dynamics, and nothing can propel everything forward faster than personal development at all levels. The following are representative of personal growth topics that can be tailored to specific audiences.

  1. Fear Less

    Many people have restricted their horizons and their lives because of the limits that fear places on their activities and their thoughts. From minor inhibitions to full blown anxieties, fear is the mechanism used to keep us in line, control our life paths, and sell us goods. Most of us neither react well to other people's fears, nor do we know how to address and resolve them. Being able to recognize most fears as artificial helps to dissipate the power that fear holds on our choices in life. Being able to fear less has a major impact on anyone's life and relationships. Learning how to deal with other people's terror is a skill that will pay off under any circumstances.

  2. Ending the Isolation

    Many of us impair our lives by isolating ourselves from meaningful and intimate contact with other people. Men in particular have been heavily programmed in some cultures to inhibit not only their own emotions but to pass on the restriction to other men and boys so that few are really capable of making close connections with each other at a deep level. We have also grown very wary of revealing anything of a highly personal nature, lest the information be used against us in the future. Being able to know who each other is, how each other feels, and how we really look without the props of makeup and fashion are fundamental to connecting solidly with other human beings. It is these personal connections that are designed to protect us from the ravages of everyday life. Watching children will lead us out of this separating trend and back into each other's arms.

  3. Out of the Box

    This topic is for those who are serious about personal change. The speaker sets out a detailed prescription for opening the door to your cage and throwing away the key. Most of the battle is fought in recognizing that we in fact are in cages of our own making. Once our box is visible, it can be dismantled carefully, piece by piece, in a long and often terrifying journey from our safest hiding places into the bright daylight of the real world. Near the end of the task, fear ceases to be untenable and becomes a rush to be felt and cherished, since it shines the way into a life of complete freedom. Once the die is cast, issues fall like dominoes and there is no turning back to a life of denial and self-suppression. Not for the faint of heart, this topic will topple your status quo and keep you wondering forever.

  4. Divorce 101: Why Do Marriages Screw Up?

    Many of us are rather perplexed about marriage and divorce. Marriage partnerships can happen suddenly, others take a long time to brew, and they can break up just as suddenly, or slowly crumble over many years. There are many experts who purport to know how to run a marriage, or how to fix a broken one. They just don't all happen to agree on how to do it! This topic examines marriage and divorce from the viewpoint of the life dramas that we all create and act out, particularly with our chosen spouses and the families we create (and destroy) together with them. In it we talk about how each person auditions actors for our life-play, including the choice of a spouse, and how our performances play out long-term in bliss, tolerance or breakup. Divorce 101 helps answer the question as to exactly how marriages can get off track (if there should be a track in such an individual endeavour), and what happens after that. What is needed to make a successful marriage is revealed, in the larger context of how any individual can grow, change, and surmount distress incurred early in life. The presentation can be formatted as a lunch or dinner speech, a small group seminar, or a larger workshop extending anywhere from an afternoon to several days at once. This topic is suitable for virtually any audience that may be curious about the question.
Other Speech Topics:

No matter what your event, people expect something uplifting and personally relevant to happen over dinner. By then they are tired of the corporate agenda and appreciate something that is designed to help them personally, broaden their horizons, stimulate their funny bone, and propel them forward into new territory. Here are a few topics to give you a flavor of the kind of approach we can take to the lunch or dinner hour.

  1. The Human Drama

    This topic is an interesting journey into the inner workings of the human psyche - centered on our tendencies to replay ancient dramas endlessly. Listeners will be entertained by recognizing some of their favorite interactive games and common personality types based on life scripts. The speaker will reveal why marriage is loaded against the participants - if they swallow the matrimonial model hook, line and sinker. The challenge in breaking scripts is that of facing untenable levels of fear and terror, both designed to inhibit any chance we may have of breaking out of the box. Designed to disturb as well as amuse, this speech will leave the room buzzing.

  2. Helping Men Open Up As Human Beings

    This presentation, available both as a dinner speech and a workshop, is relevant to all audiences. The women in the audience will know what it is about instantly. The men will have figured it out once the presentation is finished. Most women are aware that men are programmed differently, and many are either convinced that men need some major fixing, or they have given up on them as being unfixable. Women are more than aware of men's abhorrence of emotions other than anger, or their tendency to pursue sex more than day-to-day physical affection, or their lingering sexism, or their passivity when it comes to building relationships. The presenter will address these and other issues in the context of behavior patterns long since induced and reinforced by our parents, grandparents, schools, religions and life circumstances that shaped us decades ago. The presentation includes prescriptions for change, and a challenge to the men in the audience to do it themselves rather than leaning on the women around them.

  3. Boomers are Back

    Anyone who thought that the boomer generation would quietly fade away is likely to get a rude awakening with this topic. The speaker will tell the story of "SocialFarts" - bubbles of truth unwittingly released from aging baby boomers. Unwelcome in a society built on denial, SocialFarts are the dying gasps of an entire generation - their last attempts to challenge the insanity and nonsense they were born into. These short but pithy rants ransack our treasured assumptions on familiar core topics, including religion, family, money, sex, and war. They are designed to make everyone laugh, then suck in a deep breath, then curse reality, as the truth sinks deeply into our troubled minds.

  4. Why Staying Healthy is Such a Challenge

    This topic opens up a pandora's box of fresh crispy ideas and issues a challenge to the audience to throw away their misconceptions around health, illness and aging forever. From the obvious to the exotic, the speaker will review potent environmental and lifestyle factors that can either prejudice our well-being or help us live inordinately well, starting at any age or condition. The food industry, modern farming, the medical profession, the vitamin industry, the Internet - none are spared from the truth about how we are trying to build health on pretexts that just don't hold water. The audience should be prepared to walk out of the venue thinking very differently about what they can do to improve their health.

  5. Pot Luck, or Speaker's Choice

    For the adventurous group - a guaranteed hoot - no prearranged topic whatsoever. This speech will respond to the audience and will be constructed ad hoc from the needs, concerns, hopes and fears of those attending, along with a dash of whatever the speaker is thinking about or working on that day. Never short of words or inspiration, the speaker will open new areas of thinking no matter what the occasion.

How to Book a Speaker:

To book a speaker, just email Howard Rubin at howardrubin@envirodesic.com and leave your phone number and time zone. He will get in touch and help figure out whether we can help.

We are also listed with LocoLobo Events (Corporate Entertainment, Musician Booking, and Event Planning) under "New Artists".

For further information about Speaker's Challenge and an assessment of our capability to help your organization, contact Howard Rubin, President of Small & Rubin Ltd. at the address shown on the contact page.