Leslie Charles, CSP

Motivational Speaker, Inspirational Author, Business Consultant

If you plan in-house training sessions or conferences and are looking for a speaker who will leave audience members thinking and talking long after your event contact Leslie.

More Than a Speaker, More Than a Speech

An original thinker and observer of social goings on, Leslie’s critically acclaimed Why Is Everyone So Cranky? enjoyed national media attention for nearly two years. Following that groundbreaking topic, she wrote Bless Your Stress: It Means You’re Still Alive, a fetching rendition of classic stress and attitude management with a light-hearted twist. Her most-requested topic combines these two books. Blending motivation, solid content, and humor with a warm, down-to-earth delivery makes the message stick.

Leslie keeps up with current research on workplace trends, health, and brain science for her writing, speaking, and consulting practice (working closely with leaders and teams over extended periods of time adds depth and breadth to her scope as a presenter). In keeping up her own professional development, Leslie is a long-time member of the National Speakers Association and was twice elected to its board, totaling six years of service. She earned her Certified Speaking Professional designation from NSA in 1990.

Leslie is working on her eighth book this year, humorous self-help for women. While it covers a variety of hot topics, the book emphasizes how to discover your Super Powers (signature strengths) and capitalize on them—for good. Test readers are voting “2 bookmarks up” on samplings of the book. Presentations (including both men and women) are leaving audiences enthused, amused, and enlightened. It is not uncommon for people to ask, “When will it be out? I want a copy!” The same thing happened with the ”cranky” book.

Common Sense for Uncommon Times

With a focused in-the-moment presence, Leslie offers entertaining insights and inescapable truths combined with well-timed wit to hold interest and maintain audience engagement. Acutely aware of the chronic stress most people carry in today’s constantly connected 24/7 world, she encourages people to be grateful if they can still fog a mirror, to lighten up, let go, and laugh more—at life and at themselves to enrich their existence. Gratitude is the base of Leslie’s personal foundation, followed by her love of cooking and eating (and fortunately, exercising).

Just as a chef might painstakingly plan a festive meal for special guests, Leslie’s mission is to offer a bounty of inspirational stories, motivational morsels, and realistic reminders that help people rediscover what’s right in the world so they can “stick their landing” instead of feeling stuck.

Humor puts people in a state of what Leslie calls “Laughtermath.” Resistance and defensiveness neutralize. Hearts and minds open up. During this delicate time, audience members get to savor their own moment of “Aha!” As most of us know, insight is sweeter when it’s self-served and not force-fed.


Some of Leslie’s presentations involve a “Survival Kit” stuffed with items that prompt insight, nods, smiles, or laughter. Beginning with the rose, Leslie says, “When we reach for the rose, we risk the thorn.” From there, it’s candy to over-the-counter medications, with each item connecting to the topic in story form.

C. Leslie Charles

Certified Speaking Professional, Author & Consultant

If you are a meeting planner or program coordinator who is looking for a keynote speaker or trainer for an in-house presentation or workshop, you’re in the right place. If you are looking for enlightening, amusing, thought-provoking content from a speaker who will leave audience members talking and thinking long after your event, call Leslie Charles.

Whether the venue is a small group meeting or large conference, Leslie’s most popular presentation is “Why Is Everyone So Cranky?” based on the groundbreaking book she wrote and is now revising. Her presentations feature continually updated content as time passes and new social trends emerge.

Leslie has a knack for putting an original and easy-to-grasp spin on concepts that might otherwise remain vague or undefined. With seven books to her credit, she specializes in subjects she knows, researches, writes about, and practices in her life.

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Current Presentations:

Life is Not a Duress Rehearsal

This is Leslie’s most often requested topic, combining her critically acclaimed book, “Why is Everyone So Cranky?” and the amusing “Bless Your Stress.” Offering some fast-acting antidotes and time-release tips for minimizing stress or pressure, it’s a lighthearted romp on a serious subject—just what the doctor ordered!

Discover Your Super Powers (New!)

Based on the humorous women’s self-help book Leslie is writing, this adapts easily to mixed groups. From, “Does this excuse make my ‘but’ look big?” to a “save the wails” and “whine stopper” approach to first world problems, this is unconventional, wise, and very witty.

Getting Over It: Replace Resistance With Resilience—For Good

Leslie believes adversity and opportunity are constant companions. Combining mindfulness with reframing helped her not just survive, but thrive after a life-altering event. By engaging in a surprisingly simple and effective method for navigating unwanted change, this enlightening method can even be made (gasp) enjoyable, and definitely effective.

Say It Right the First Time: You May Not Have a Second Chance

Leslie draws from her degree in Communication plus hours of empathy and Personal Process Recall training, through which she cultivated listening, deflection, and conflict resolution skills. This session helps you stay grounded and geared up to manage communication challenges that might otherwise heat up beyond repair.

Elevating the Customer Experience

Blending current research with her books on service and years of teaching and practicing the art, Leslie helps leaders and front line employees raise the bar on daily service performance. Exceptional service delivery at every level, from the inside out, can equate to a memorable experience for customers every time, not just a fleeting encounter.

Why Is Everyone So Cranky? Part Deux (New!)

Leslie’s “Why is Everyone So Cranky?” featured the ten trends complicating our lives and what to do about them. The milieu is more convoluted than before; blurred social boundaries have penetrated our daily lives and we need the skills and foresight to see through them.

The next time someone pushes your buttons remind yourself you’re the one who installed them.

– from STICK TO IT!

What her clients have to say

We were looking for a unique speaker who isn’t run of the mill. We wanted it to feel like we were hearing a story, while still learning, with an approachable vibe. We got just that with Leslie. She offers practical advice that speaks to the mind and the soul. For those who enjoy takeaways, she’s written books, — some are fun quick reads, o… Read more
Amanda ToyCMP, CTA  Associate Director of SalesGreater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau

Customized For You

Leslie’s list of satisfied clients is extensive and varied. This is because she takes an intimate approach to each engagement, customizing material to meet specific needs and objectives. From in-house training to group facilitation, retreats, or conference keynotes, she does her homework, designing both content and process to fit the audience, event, theme, and even the venue, if relevant.

Customizing is how Leslie learned proper pronunciation of the word REALTOR (two syllables, not three) and why dental hygienists say, “SLOWLY bite down” instead of “Bite down slowly.” More than once she’s been asked, “When did you work for our organization?” Hint: she never did.

Leslie’s client list includes:

  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center,
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • National Association of Insurance Women,
  • Crime Victim Advocate Network of Oregon,
  • National Institutes of Health,
  • Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan,

  • American Health Information Management Association,
  • The Humor Project International Conference,
  • University of Michigan,
  • United Dairy Industry of Michigan,

For more information: View More Clients →

Motivate and inspire your team: help them discover their Super Powers by applying their signature strengths for good