Explain, present, persuade, inspire

Discover how to speak powerfully and communicate effectively in a variety of contexts, capture the attention of your audience and make your body language work to your advantage.


Develop Your Communication Skills: It's How You Tell Them | IESE Business School
  • Design and deliver different types of speeches and presentations successfully, using proven rhetorical devices as a means of persuasion.
  • Learn how to structure ideas, sharpen your message and interact confidently with the audience.
  • Understand crucial non-verbal aspects of communication to increase authority, confidence and reduce nervousness.


The “Communication Skills That Empower Your Leadership” program covers everything you’ll need to make a powerful, persuasive and impactful presentation. It outlines a step-by-step approach to brainstorming, writing, designing and delivering your talk. This approach is user-friendly and saves time. It contains real-life examples from scenarios that you will encounter on a day-today basis – presentations to clients, to executive committees, crisis situations, ceremonies etc.
This program is done in a fun and relaxed manner with the entire group sharing best practices that have worked for them, along with expert advice from the professors. Rather than talking about ephemeral and abstract notions of confidence and persuasion, we focus on practical and tangible things such as how to use your hands (above your waist but not above your shoulders), what order should you introduce your main points (the most important first and last, the weakest in the middle), when to introduce your organisation (only after you’ve shown your audience that you know who they are) etc.

Topics covered in the program:
1. How to structure interpersonal communication
Confidence mainly comes from being clear about why you are speaking and how you are helping your audience:

  • The difference between the structure of a presentation and the structure of a document.
  • The 5 steps to opening a presentation.
  • How to structure your main points.
  • How to conclude your presentation.
  • How to deal with questions and answers.

In this video you can see an excerpt from this part of the program.

2. How to look confident in front of your audience – voice, body language and eye contact
People will judge how confident and trustworthy you are based on the way you stand and move. Someone trying to look bigger than they are (by sticking their chest out too much), or smaller (by hunching their back and shoulders) show a lack of confidence because they are not occupying the space their body really needs. In these exercises we explore:

  • How to stand still.
  • How to have a powerful and clear voice.
  • Maintaining eye-contact with the audience.
  • How to move around as you speak to a group.
  • How to walk out on stage, say hello and immediately grab the attention of the audience.
  • The difference between gesturing when presenting and when in conversation.
  • When to move your hands and when to let them rest.
  • Gestures to avoid.

3. Managing nerves and rehearsing
Everyone gets nervous before making a presentation; in fact, if you’re not nervous, there is something wrong.
However, our nerves shouldn’t negatively impact on our performance. In this section, we look at different techniques to manage nerves before and during the presentation. We also look at effective techniques for rehearsing and explode some myths (e.g. don’t rehearse in front of a mirror!).

4. Designing PowerPoint
Most people design Powerpoint for the completely wrong reasons – instead of designing slides that help the audience understand their message, they make slides to help them remember what they (the presenter) wants to say! People have forgotten the difference between Powerpoint slides and reports – this is why they often email their Powerpoint deck to their audience after the talk. If we can understand your talk by reading your PowerPoint slides, then they are very badly designed slides! Your slides should make little or no sense outside of the context of the performed presentation. In this part of the program we talk about:

  • What text and how much text should go on a slide.
  • How to write text on slides (e.g. never use ALL CAPITALS as it is difficult to read).
  • How and when to use photos (e.g. use B&W images to talk about your competitors, colour to talk about your products).
  • When you shouldn’t use PowerPoint and alternatives such as using Whiteboards and flip-charts.

In this video you can see excerpt from this part of the program.

5. Dealing with angry people: speaking in situations of conflict and controversy

  • How to understand the other’s position and where is the common ground
  • What kind of arguments work in those circumstances
  • How to structure them in a speech
  • What kind of non-verbal language should be used.

6. Public speaking in emergencies and crises

  • What happens in the minds and hearts of people during a crisis or an accident
  • What is the right approach in terms of messaging and emotional connection
  • What are the questions you have to answer while facing an audience hit by a tragedy

Is This Program Right for You?
The “Communication Skills That Empower Your Leadership” program is designed for managers who aspire to become better communicators and develop a style that fosters commitment among team members and stake holders. Professionals who lead large teams, manage client relationships or hold customer-facing roles will find this program particularly beneficial.

The “Communication Skills That Empower Your Leadership” program merges highly dynamic and interactive teaching methods, including video recordings, individual feedback sessions, classroom discussions, lectures and practical exercises.

Participants are divided into small groups and grow as communicators in a positive and enriching learning environment.

In order to benefit fully from the course, reading the academic material that will be provided two weeks prior to the start date is essential.

The faculty of the “Communication Skills That Empower Your Leadership”  program is made up of professionals who are involved not only in teaching but in research and the business world. This program’s team comprises:

Santiago de la Cierva | IESE Business SchoolYago de la Cierva (academic director)
Lecturer of Managing People in Organizations
Doctor in Philosophy, Universidad de Navarra
Degree in Law, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
After his graduation in Law, Yago de la Cierva has dedicated all his professional life to the four branches of communications: journalism (he founded and directed the international TV news agency ROME reports), corporate communication, university teaching and as a crisis consultant, with particular emphasis in educational institutions.

Brian McCarthy
External Collaborator
Degree in Philosophy and English literature from University College Galway

I am a writer, designer and teacher and I’m passionate about helping people get their greatest work into the world and turning their big ideas into reality.
I work in the areas of Leadership, Communication and Innovation. I run workshops and give talks throughout Europe, Africa, and Latin America for a diverse range of companies and organisations, from NGOs to Business Schools to Fortune 500 companies.
My professional background is varied but falls into 3 main areas:
Theatre – I was a professional theatre director and acting teacher for 6 years and I draw heavily on the principles of performance to help leaders tell great stories, improvise when faced with the unexpected and be creative under pressure.
Philosophy – I have an honours degree in Philosophy and I take some of the most helpful and practical ideas from the great philosophers and show how they can be applied in your work and organisation.
Writing – I’ve worked as a professional writer in economics, philosophy, psychology and medicine. I’ve also written and designed numerous speeches for speakers at TED, the United Nations, Wired, LaWeb, Mobile World Congress, Finovate, and many more.

Admission Process
The program has a four-step admission process:

  1. Participants must complete and submit the online application.
  2. The Executive Education Department will contact the participant by email to acknowledge receipt of the application. It will also provide information about the program dates, sending of prior study materials and the bank details needed to pay tuition.
  3. The participant pays tuition (payment must be made before the start of the course and before prior study materials are sent). This is an essential prerequisite for participating in the program.
  4. Two weeks before the start of the program, participants will receive an email with a username giving them access to IESE’s Virtual Campus, where initial study materials will be available.


The program fee is tax-exempt and includes academic materials and lunches. It does not include travel or accommodation expenses.

The program requires preparatory coursework, which will be made available three weeks before the start date. Payment is required in order to access this material. Check the cancellation policy below.

Do you know about our corporate agreements and fees for multiple registrations? Feel free to ask us.

We have negotiated special fees for our participants in these hotels near to Barcelona campus: AC Victoria Suites (Marriot) 4*Sansi Pedralbes 4*Abba Garden 4*Meliá Sarriá Barcelona 5*Upper Diagonal 4*.

Arranging Payment
We accept payments by credit card, check or wire. For more payment information, please reference your invoice.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received within 20 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a cancellation fee equivalent to 25% of the program fee. IESE reserves the right to cancel this edition of the program or to change the dates up to 20 days prior to its start. IESE is under no circumstances responsible for travel expenses incurred. Participants should consider travel cancellation coverage in the exceptional event that the program is cancelled or that participants are unable to attend for personal or professional reasons.


Mod. 1: Online, Nov. 2020 (*dates TBC)
Mod. 2: Barcelona, Dec. 2-4, 2020


IESE Barcelona
(+34) 93 253 4200
How to arrive


  • programa blended
    IESE’s Blended Programs accelerate growth and boost business performance through a strategic and seamless interplay of highly engaging online and onsite content.

    Program delivery generally extends over three modules — magnifying the learning impact — while our virtual campus serves as a hub for all of your learning needs.

  • Blended programs typically comprise a central face-to-face module bookended by two online modules. The first module lays the theoretical foundation with video lectures, online sessions, evaluations and a range of academic materials.

    Faculty and peers will already be familiar faces by the time you start the onsite module, which merges case studies, team-based projects, lectures, experiential exercises and social activities. In a collaborative environment, you’ll also share viewpoints, work in teams and reflect on new insights.

    Programs conclude with an online module. Online sessions, collective Q&A and a wrap-up session — complemented by invaluable faculty guidance and peer-to-peer coaching — reinforce key take-aways and elevate your capacity to apply the learning to your unique challenges.

  • IESE Blended Programs harness the benefits of remote learning with the school’s hallmark academic rigor. You will feel empowered to drive positive change and equipped to deliver a superior business impact in your organization.




  • IESE offers you the opportunity of designing a personalized development plan. With the support of an academic adviser, you will ll select at least four focused programs that address your unique interests and learning objectives. Once completed, you will receive the IESE Executive Education Certificate and become elegible to join IESE’s Alumni Association.

    Contact an adviser – Learn more about our Focused Programs portfolio and the ones that best reflect your development needs.

     Request the Executive Education Certificate – If you have already completed four or more programs and meet the requirements, you can apply for your certificate here.

  • IESE’s Executive Education Certificate offers a series of key benefits:

     Professional guidance with an IESE adviser.

    5% discount on any future focused program.

     Possibility of becoming a member of the Alumni Association, which delivers a broad array of exclusive benefits, ranging from professional support services to access to more than 300 Alumni learning sessions per year. Delivered around the world, sessions are a chance to learn and build your network.

  • To receive the IESE Executive Education Certificate you must meet the following requirements:

    Complete at least four focused programs (in English or Spanish).

    Programs must be completed within three years.

    Programs should amount to a minimum of 13 days of learning. You can view the focused programs calendar here for a list of available programs.


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Need more information?

Come visit us and we will answer all of your questions.
Coffee is on us!

IESE Barcelona – enfocadosbcn@iese.edu – (+34) 93 253 42 00

IESE Madrid – enfocadosmad@iese.edu – (+34) 91 211 31 60

IESE Munich – execed.muc@iese.edu – (+49) (89) 242 097 951