How to Get People to Do Things (of their Own Free Will)

Short Form


What’s the secret to getting people to do things? This presentation will provide interesting, useful, and 100% ethical tools and perspectives.


How do you get people to do things? Over human history, that question has been answered a variety of ways, but we’re not going to address violence, threats, bribery, hypnosis, or the casting of magic spells in this presentation.

This talk will synthesize insights from the community organizing, volunteer management, employee engagement strategies, psychology, philosophy and wildlife behavior to address what gets people to do what they do.

You’ll get a chance to share your own perspectives and leave with some useful strategies and a whole new way of thinking about it the next time someone doesn’t cooperate.


philosophy, psychology, volunteers, volunteerism, motivation, engagement, collaboration, relational engagement, community organizing

Speaking experience

I regularly facilitate meetings and discussion groups, and I have taught courses in writing, tax preparation, and wildlife tracking. I gave lightning talks at last year’s OSB and Community Leadership Summits, and presented a version of this talk at least year’s Community Leadership Summit.


  • Starr finals

    Maggie Starr

    Lightning Tree


    Maggie Starr helps purpose-driven teams form plans and proposals, run meetings and brainstorm sessions, and facilitate organizational change. She draws from wide-ranging experience in volunteer management, ecology, systems thinking, and cross-cultural learning to bring new perspectives to teams and their work.