Life Is Not a Duress Rehearsal

Ah, those cranky people: they’re everywhere—the hurried and worried, the impatient, irritated (and irritating) are out to make someone’s day. With any luck, it won’t be yours. Yes, we all have worries (health, job security, money, yellow teeth) but being amped up on a daily basis is self-defeating. If you can fog a mirror, be grateful—it means you’re still ticking, clicking, and kicking. Stress is natural, normal, and organic, a definite sign of life. Convert it into positive energy so your levels of enjoyment and appreciation can go up. Life will be more fun—and it’ll be more fun being around you, as well. This original, entertaining session will enlighten and inspire you to take a new look at stress so you can assess it, confess it, address it, less it, finesse it, press it—and yes, even bless it!

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



Super Powers? You? Granted, you don’t have a supersonic propulsion pack that zooms you into the stratosphere and back, nor can you shift into Supersize to outwit or intimidate. You can’t fly without a ticket, but you are more capable of marvelous feats and heroic acts than you realize. Discover your Mother Lode of untapped potential waiting to be found, freed, and fired up. Your Super Powers help you “find your Phoenix” so you can bounce back, banish excuses, and blow off everyday annoyances that suck the satisfaction out of life and work. Stake a claim on your Signature Strengths to take full advantage of your natural assets. Explore two distinct sides of your inner self and how to master each. Oh, and be prepared to have some fun along the way.

Based on the humorous women’s self-help book Leslie is writing, this material is easily adapted for mixed groups. Posing questions such as, “Does this excuse make my ‘but’ look big?”, Leslie’s practical “whine stopper” approach to everyday issues is unconventional, wise, and very witty.

Getting Over It:
Replace Resistance With Resilience—For Good

Shift happens. Things break, blemishes erupt, mistakes occur, bloat happens, people annoy or disappoint, illness strikes. Unwanted or unexpected change can be inconvenient, disruptive, and distressing. Do you steady and sustain yourself when things go south? Or when the chips are down do you reach for the chips? Mental Hardiness (resilience) is an essential 21st Century skill in our constantly changing world. Learn how to reframe and reinforce yourself rather than relinquish your composure when it’s most needed. This session will increase your peace of mind, so you don’t end up giving others a piece of your mind. Enhance your capacity for handling change so you can make life’s shifts steadier and smoother. The secret is in knowing how to “Snap Out of It”—for good!

Leslie believes that adversity and opportunity are constant companions and this session is proof. Blending mindfulness with the skill of Reframing helped her not just survive, but thrive after a life-altering incident. Like the Phoenix, Leslie was able “to rise again” by creating a surprisingly simple and highly effective personal practice for navigating unwanted change and getting over it.

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

Since the late 90s Leslie has chronicled the personal, social, and professional issues at the root of cultural crankiness and she still is. We exist in a constantly changing, unpredictable world of 24/7 communication, pressing time demands, and unstoppable change. And no, it’s not your vision—social boundaries have blurred. Distinctions between the personal and the professional have faded, as have the lines between private and public, formal and casual, fact and fabrication, polite and rude, and young and old, giving license for people to behave in ways that were once unthinkable. The combination of information overload, constant connection, performance pressure, role obscurity and other social forces leaves us in a state of vague unease that doesn’t go away. Leslie knows there are no quick fixes or short cuts, but offers new insights and strategies for managing the complex issues we face today so we can find much-needed restoration and relief from the nonstop fray.

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

It would be wonderful if everyone spoke clearly, competently, and courteously but it appears that’s too much to ask of mere human beings. What people say—and how they say it—reveals more than they realize about their intent—and character. From the unresponsive or unconvinced to the uncooperative or unreasonable, you want to present your position to the best of your ability, because the person who controls the language controls the situation. From run-amok meetings to managing and correcting performance, from resolving conflict with unhappy customers or coworkers to handling run-ins with the media, learn specialized strategies for cooling down heated situations. You can make yourself appear calm and confident, even when you’re not. You can overcome what you’d really like to say and instead, say what’s really needed. You can de-escalate a touchy exchange by staying centered, attentive, and available. This session will help you remain calm enough to build bridges and control conflict without appearing controlling.

Leslie draws from her degree in Communication plus hours of empathy training and Personal Process Recall practice, 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

Study the commercials of high end or specialized products and it’s all about the experience. From driving a car to daily grooming routines, from enjoying a vacation to getting engaged or married, it’s all about the experience of how we live, love, work, shop, travel, learn, and even think). Service promises are high today and expectations are even higher. Every touch point with customers (on paper or screen, voice to voice, or face to face) is a critical exchange. Service is no longer a desirable concept; it’s a full-scale experience. From minor issues to major incidents, customers want to experience competence, concern, and concentrated attention. They want timely, seamless systems offering connection, convenience, and continual trust. Creating an exceptional customer experience requires skillful performance and extensive support. When the service experience is elevated to World Class level—at all levels—good things happen. For everyone.

Drawing from her books on service plus years of teaching and practicing the art, Leslie helps leaders, managers, and front line employees raise the bar on daily service performance. Cultivating exceptional service at every level, from the inside out, makes it possible to deliver a memorable experience every time, not just a fleeting encounter.

Have a special need or project?

If you have a special or unique need, be sure to ask. If the subject or project falls within her expertise, Leslie will either develop a new program for you, or draw on past material to create what you are looking for.

Be assured that if Leslie is not a perfect fit for your group or occasion, she will do her best to help you find someone who will more appropriately fit your needs.

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