Colette Carlson

Colette Carlson

Colette Carlson is a human behavior expert and CPAE Hall of Fame motivational keynote speaker who teaches audiences how to transform relationships through the power of connected conversations. Colette’s presentations weave together powerful life lessons, research-backed strategies, and the call to action for personal and professional success. Audiences connect with Colette through her inspiring content, laugh-out-loud humor, and extensive customization.

With a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior and more than 20 years of experience helping individuals change behaviors that impact their success, Colette understands the psychology, mindset, and skills required to make positive, long-lasting change.

A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation held by fewer than 10% of the members belonging to the International Federation for Professional Speakers, Colette has shared her insights, observations, and research with thousands of people throughout the world. In 2017, Colette was inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, a recognition that honors professional speakers who have reached the top echelon of career excellence.

Her articles on connection, stress management, sales, and leadership have been featured in Success, Business Management Daily, and Working Mother magazines. Trusted clients include Boeing, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Fidelity, Great Clips, Federal Express, and the United States Government.

Most Requested Programs

The Connected Leader
Successful, effective leaders recognize the need to authentically connect on a human level, whether virtually or in-person, to create influence and impact. Connected leaders model courageous behaviors that create a culture of clarity, transparency, inclusion, and accountability, even in the most challenging times. In this engaging, uplifting, and research-based program, attendees will master their ability to communicate and connect on deeper levels, creating an environment where people thrive.

In a digitally-distracted, constantly-changing world, become a Connected Leader to:

  • Drive positive change through intentional and impactful communication, thoughtful questions, and empathetic listening
  • Earn trust, respect, and loyalty from your teams and colleagues
  • Learn specific communication techniques that will inspire action and cooperation, address conflict, and extract more value and productivity from your teams
  • Seek and encourage healthy feedback
  • Create a culture of open communication where people connect, grow, and flourish

Many Communicate. Few Connect.
The common denominators of the most successful individuals are their ability to effectively communicate and connect, regardless of situation, location, or audience. In a competitive world filled with a global workforce, numerous communication channels, and daily digital distractions, getting your message heard has never been more challenging.

Clear, concise communication is no longer enough to get results: connection must be part of the equation.

Amplify your impact and form crucial relationships that drive productivity, engagement, and collaboration by learning how to:

  • Up your emotional quotient to increase your credibility and gain support
  • Foster healthy communication through focused, dedicated behaviors
  • Align your thoughts, words, and actions to build trust and increase influence
  • Communicate with candor and clarity while maintaining a respectful, human connection
  • Be a human highlighter who champions the accomplishments and strengths of every individual on your team

YOU Management: Strategies to Avoid Burnout, Boost Resilience, and Accelerate Success
Regardless of your title and role, people experience everyday stressors while they are expected to stay agile through constant change. In today’s world, people are required to exceed expectations, and produce more in less time with fewer resources, all while staying positive and engaged with colleagues and customers.

New challenges have collapsed the boundaries between work and home, leaving people juggling opposing demands for time, energy, and attention. It’s no surprise, even with the best of intentions, leaders and teams feel stressed out, disconnected, and emotionally exhausted. Enough! It’s time for You Management!

Join Colette in this laugh-out-loud program as she shares practical, yet powerful, science-based strategies to remain resilient and accelerate your success during the most challenging of circumstances by learning how to:

  • Minimize worry, stress and angst by knowing when to let go or take control
  •  Manage devices, distractions, and demands to stay focused, present, and productive
  •  Lean in to change by mastering your mindset to increase mental toughness
  •  Build in daily self-care strategies to avoid burnout and create more joy
  •  Maximize health and wellness through the power of connection

Sincere Selling: Stop Transacting, Start Connecting
In order to make a sale and earn a customer, you must first make a connection. In today’s virtual selling environment with shorter meetings and distracted customers, the ability to quickly connect and captivate is paramount. In this engaging, research-based program, learn how to adopt a sincere selling mindset to cultivate authentic relationships that lead to increased sales, repeat customers, and powerful referrals.
As a former national sales trainer who cut her teeth in straight commission sales, Colette will show you how to up your personal connection quotient to maximize relationships, revenue, and results by learning how to:

  • Awaken your awareness to maximize your emotional connection
  • Ask deeper, richer questions to identify customer pain points
  • Listen empathetically to create a collaborative environment conducive to problem solving
  • Align your thoughts, words, and actions to build trust
  • Demonstrate value and gain emotional buy-in through effective storytelling

Women Leading with Impact: Accelerate Your Position with Confidence
When women show up, stand up, and speak out, positive change happens. In this engaging, uplifting, and research-based program, specific to women in leadership, participants gain the strategies and skills necessary to become authentic, credible, and confident leaders. Be recognized, respected, and rewarded in your career by learning how to:

  • Cultivate connections that count
  • Identify, access, and develop strategic relationships
  • Express your success to advocate for yourself and others
  • Conquer self-imposed limits to take risks and accelerate growth
  • Breakthrough barriers by mastering the power of the ASK
  • Stay resilient through constant change and challenges


Colette’s engaging style and the creative presentation made our event a great success! The post-event survey identified her as the most highly rated session and rated as the "highlight" of the entire 2 days of the Learning and Development program. It was no surprise given her ability to tailor the content to meet the needs of our team members. - Microsoft

Colette recently spoke for us as the Opening Keynote Speaker and Virtual Chat Emcee/Moderator of our first virtual IAEE Women's Leadership Forum and as always, she was AMAZING! I have used Colette numerous times in my career and she never disappoints; True professional when it comes to presenting virtually. I always know I can count on her to do what's needed to make our program as huge success! Always on point, providing leadership tips to women; she is top notch, has a true pulse on what our attendees need and always able to engage! We love Colette! - International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)

Purina’s Women Leaders Forum hired Colette to speak at our International Women’s Day event this year and we were thrilled with the response from our audience members! Colette spent time getting to know our corporate culture, and delivered custom content that really resonated; her stories were funny, poignant, and insightful. Our audience consisted of men and women from all levels of the company, and every single person took something meaningful away. Colette was a great investment – hire her if you’re looking for inspiration! - Nestle Purina North America

Colette is an amazing speaker! She did a keynote for 2300 franchise owners, general managers, and managers and a breakout session for 1500 general managers and managers. She did a great job researching our business and sharing stories and examples that the participants could relate to. The participants found her funny and insightful. The vast majority of the participants rated her as "Excellent!" She was also a delight to work with in planning the conference as well as on-site. I highly recommend Colette as a speaker! - Great Clips

Colette did a wonderful job conducting three virtual sessions tailored specifically to our industry and managers. Her takeaways were practical, powerful and timely which is why she forged connections with the group. I would highly recommend her for your next event! - IL Farm Bureau