• 416-726-0130

For Business

Mystified by the cornucopia of talents your esteemed colleague possesses? Wishing you had that special creative intelligence and guts for meetings, presentations, projects. Lesley Carlberg will help you awaken/rediscover your dormant child of imagination in a weekly romp of humour and creativity.

Incorporating techniques from a variety of the arts: writing, music, improv, and public speaking and more, Lesley will take you on a journey of self-discovery in a safe and supportive environment to explore and practise the SECRETS of the Creative Witty Artist, the Engaging Speaker, Master Meeting Mogul, and the Successful , Confident Business Person.

Benefits to you and your workplace:

Lesley Carlberg

* Stress Release * Department Cohesiveness * Improved Communication * Innovative Solutions* Overall Performance * Team Building * Convenant

What You Will Learn

1/ 8 Elements to write a more engaging Speech/Presentation
2/ 5 Ways to Wake Up Your Right Brain
3/ 3 Surefire Ways to Make People Laugh (especially me)
4/ 36 Clown Rules (Wow!)

What We Will Do

1/ Be overwhelmed with Inspiration
2/ Flesh Out Ideas
3/ Think as a free spirit
4/ Have LOADS of fun

For more info call 416-726-0130 or email lcar@rogers.com

Next session: September 2012. Call for details.


Creativity is key to success

Comedienne Lesley Carlberg’s seminars show others how to push the envelope in the workplace
By Kelly Gadzala
January 31, 2011
Neighbourhoods: Swansea
Originally published in our Bloor West print edition(s).

LESLEY Carlberg is hosting a series of workshops in Swansea on how to be creative in the workplace.
What does being a stand-up comedienne have to do with helping improve creativity in the workplace?

Everything, according to Lesley Carlberg.

The Lakeshore Avenue West real estate agent isn’t necessarily a business expert, even though she’s owned a graphic design company with her husband for 20 years.

But the series of workshops she’s holding at the Swansea Town Hall and Swansea Community Centre promises to help people be more creative in the workplace.

And from a creativity standpoint, Carlberg is well qualified.

In addition to taking improv classes at Second City and writing, performance and comedy classes at Humber College, Carlberg has written and performed her own musicals at the Fringe Festival in Toronto. She is currently writing her fourth such play. She’s performed at open mikes across the city and in New York City.

She uses creativity all the time in her real estate job, holding art shows and running other special events to get known in the community, she says.

But that trait isn’t always valued in the workplace.

“We tend to assume the left brain is smarter,” she says.

“A lot of people stop themselves as they are already editing themselves.”

But if you foster your creativity, you’re more open in your ideas, she says.

Carlberg’s experience in clowning has taught her to follow her impulse and not self-censor, she says, and she’ll integrate some of those exercises into the sessions. The workshops, which start at the end of January and run through February, will teach creative problem solving, communication skills and confidence in presentations through various exercises and activities.

“I’m trying not to make it too artsy-fartsy,” she says.

She admits she’s feeling out the market at this point, to see if there is a need.

It may not sound like a very business-like philosophy, but Carlberg says jumping in with two feet is the perfect example of using impulse.

“You don’t always have to be over-researched,” she says. “Like Nike, you just do it.”


ARTICLE  SNAP Bloor West Magazine

Business Owners Get Creative

We felt our creative juices flowing as we stopped by the start of a Creative Workshop for Business People in mid-January. Leader Lesley Carlberg led the eclectic group through a series of fun creative activities designed to help participants tackle specific challenges in their businesses. The group took away skills and reminders for facing work obstacles and learned how to tackle them from a different point of view. By the end of the session the room was energized with excitement and of course creativity. If this sounds interesting to you, the course continues through February at both Swansea Town Hall and Swansea Community Centre and participants are still welcome. To find out more give Lesley a call at 416-726-0130 or via e-mail at lcarlberg@rogers.com.

Photos by Peter Foy


Article by Lesley


So. You’d like to write a humourous speech, would you?. Sound too daunting?. Or maybe you’d just like to write a more engaging one. If not engaging, then simply you just don’t want people to fall asleep.

Now the pressure is on. And believe me: The task to make people laugh is HUGE pressure. How are you going to write an interesting, engaging and maybe even humourous speech? Well, let’s start with these three things. Less is more. Structure. And words. And don’t try too hard. Okay. Four things.

First of all. Less is more. The less words you use to express something, the more energy your speech will have. But not only words, syllables as well. It might sound very nitpicky but trust me, then you will have more space in your speech to be funny. English is a very muscular language (I love saying that). We have powerful verbs we can use so that we don’t even need adverbs. Remember an adverb is a word that describes a verb such as slowly, quickly, quietly, happily. Take a big black marker and cross them all out. For example: “Joe walked very quickly to the store.” Count the beats: “Joe-walked-ver-ry-quick-ly-to-the-store.” 9 beats. “’Joe bolted to the store. Down to 6 beats. “Joe ate his lunch heartily” versus “Joe wolfed down his lunch.” Be as direct and concise as you can and yes, count the syllables and beats on your fingers.

Next, surprise your listeners with a fun word that they wouldn’t expect. Get a thesaurus and find punchier more descriptive words rather than the dribdrab ones you hear (and use) all the time. And don’t be afraid to even make up words. You are allowed to be silly. This is a humourous speech. Your job right now is to entertain and make people laugh. For instance, say in your speech you are talking about riding your bike or in other words, you are biking. So now if you are talking about driving your car , maybe you are “carring.” (My kids made that up.) And if you are walking your bike instead of cycling perhaps you are “wikling”. (I made that up). Have fun! People LOVE hearing new things, new ideas and new words.

But the biggest thing about writing a humourous speech is the actual structure of the paragraph and even more so is the structure of the sentence and even MORE so is the last word. The last word of the sentence HAS to be the kicker. The punchline to the set-up. Notice way back in my first paragraph, I wrote “if not engaging, you just don’t want people to fall asleep.” First of all, out of the three examples in the first paragraph, the first two examples were not funny, but the last one about “falling asleep” was funny. That’s why I put it at the END of the paragraph. And even moreso, the kicker word, “asleep” I also put at the END of the sentence. If I had structured the sentence by saying. “You just don’t want people to fall asleep during your speech”, you dilute the idea. “Asleep” is funny but people are still hearing you talking by saying the trailer: “during your speech” so they stop themselves from laughing and the impact of the big group laugh gets lost. Get it?

The last thing about writing a humourous speech is just don’t try too hard. It has to come organically from a variety of places. Ie. From the actual story you are telling. The way you structure the paragraphs and sentences. Your choice of words. And your delivery. Revel in the character you’ve become who is telling this speech even if the character is simply you. You want to deliver it naturally.

If You think what you are saying is funny then it will be a humourous speech. Have confidence and dissect your speech after you have written it and I am sure there will be ways you can punch it up so people listen, stay awake and maybe even laugh!! Hehe!

Please come to my FREE workshop on “How to Write a Humourous Speech”

Where & When

Mississauga Central Library, 2nd floor
301 Burnhamthorpe Road West

Tuesday, August 23rd
12:00 noon (sharp) till 1:00 pm

What You Will Learn

1/ 8 Elements for a Funny Speech
2/ 5 Ways to Wake Up Your Right Brain
3/ 3 Surefire Ways to Make People Laugh (especially me)
4/ 36 Clown Rules (Wow!)

What We Will Do

1/ Be overwhelmed with Inspiration
2/ Flesh Out Ideas
3/ Laugh a lot
4/ Have LOADS of fun

Looking forward to seeing you!


Lesley 🙂

ARTICLE Toastmasters Chatterbox Newsletter Fall 2011

The Makings of a Humourous Speech

By Lesley Carlberg

As earthlings, we love stories. We are inundated with them and we inundate people with them. Stories are everywhere: news, TV shows, the movies, books, magazines, in the boardroom, by the watercooler and at the dinner table. We thrive on them because we can often relate to them and they mean something to us. Usually these stories have something interesting about them: they are sad, or happy, or exciting or funny.
Evoking an emotion is a great way to paint humour into your speech because we “get it”. We have experienced something similar.

Here is an exercise to get an idea for a humourous speech, to get you thinking creatively and to get you to write a story. In this story there is an emotion or a state you can get us, the audience, to relate to such as fear, dizziness, irritation, or boredom. Pick a line from a movie or a book or a song or just make one up. The line I have chosen for you is “I would rather watch paint dry than”…… For me, personally? I would rather watch paint dry than get laser eye surgery–than listen to a TV show for babies–than watch golf on TV–than watch a horror movie–than go on a roller coaster–than go a spinning ride–than go bunging jumping–than go parachuting. Think of your own. Now take one idea and tell me the three reasons why you don’t like this certain activity. We will probably understand your feelings and relate to the emotion or state you are discribing. Next, write down what’s so great about watching paint dry ie. The benefits of inhaling paint fumes. You might be pleasantly surprised  and you probably will even be a little funny. The trick is to just get started, get going, get the creative juices flowing. But here are the rules: don’t judge, don’t self-edit, don’t fret. Just brainstorm, be confident, go for quantity. Most importantly, have FUN! There you go: The makings of your humourous speech. Easy.