Leslie’s Approach

Appealing Ideas, Inspiration, and Action

Thanks to her humble background, Leslie has empathy for adult learners; especially for reluctant (or even defensive) learners, those for whom “classroom time” triggers unpleasant memories. That’s why she does all she can to make time with her as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Leslie likes to present complex ideas in bite-sized portions, making them easier to digest. Adept at putting her own (sometimes offbeat) spin on familiar concepts, she enjoys making material relevant, fun, and timely. She is open and accepting of opposing ideas, knows how to deflect potshots or disparaging comments without pushback, and is capable of publicly accepting warranted criticism with grace. She had a lot of practice in these areas, working with resistant, mandatory attendees early in her career.

Whether speaking or writing, Leslie wants to “Teach, Tease, and Transform” with a light-hearted touch. She prompts laughter and sheepish nods of admission by unveiling some of the more-than-human, less-than-heroic moments we all engage in, and how to do better. She adores it when participants turn the tables and teach or tease her back, admitting that those moments often end up being transformative for her.

Audiences appreciate Leslie’s catchy memes: “Life has become so convenient we’ve lost our tolerance to inconvenience.” Buying her Subaru, she was told the car’s computer would learn how she drives. She asked, “What if it doesn’t like the way I drive?”

An Approachable Authority and Role Model

During the Cranky book media blitz, one journalist described Leslie Charles as “having her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in our culture.” Well, she still does. A social critic, student of human nature, and recognized expert on stress, Leslie presents doable strategies for not just surviving, but thriving in an unpredictable, unstable, and contentious world.
Regardless of the topic she’s presenting, Leslie models the skills consistently. From controlling stress to communicating constructively, to taking the lead in a crisis or being an ignored customer, if an incident occurs while Leslie is speaking, she handles the unexpected or unwanted with grace or humor, or both.

She has put out-of-control conference schedules back on time, made grieving audience members laugh, faced fire drills, power failures, and external noises so loud that lip reading was almost a necessity. Stuck in a bone-chillingly cold room for a women’s conference she gently insisted the group be moved to poolside, the only available option. And it worked. These examples reflect her commitment to clients and participants.

Professional Speaking Accredidations



Leslie Charles, CSP