Business Communication Skills for Leadership

Explain, Present, Persuade, Inspire

Master business skills communication and 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.

Benefits of Studying IESE’s Business Leadership Communication Program

#2 in Executive Education 2022 by Financial Times | IESE Business School
  • Design and deliver different types of speeches and presentations successfully, using proven rhetorical devices as a means of persuasion and different types of business communication skills.
  • 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 and to become an expert at leadership communication.

It outlines a step-by-step approach to brainstorming, writing, designing and delivering a talk. This approach is user-friendly and saves time. It contains real-life examples of business communication skills 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 communication skills 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 organization (only after you’ve shown your audience that you know who they are) etc.

Topics covered in the Leadership and Business Communication 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 start 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 leadership communication by covering:

  • 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 in Microsoft 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 arguments 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 stakeholders. Professionals who lead large teams, manage client relationships or hold customer-facing roles will find this program particularly beneficial.

The faculty of the Communication Skills That Empower Your Leadership Program is composed of professionals who are involved not only in teaching but also in research and in the business world. This program’s team comprises professionals of business communication skills and leadership communication:

Santiago de la Cierva | IESE Business SchoolYago de la Cierva (Academic Director)
Senior Lecturer of Managing People in Organizations
PhD in Philosophy, Universidad de Navarra
Master’s in Institutional Communication, Pontificia Universidad de la Santa Cruz
Brian McCarthy (External collaborator)
Bachelor’s in Philosophy and English literature, University College Galway

On-Campus Edition Methodology
The program to improve leadership communication leverages a wide range of highly dynamic and interactive teaching methodologies, including group discussions, class lectures and breakout sessions with a coach, all aimed to hone your skills as an agent of change.
This combination of teaching methods has been strategically designed to foster an optimal learning environment.
The on-campus edition takes place on IESE’s Barcelona campus.
To ensure participants get the most out of the program, they will be asked to come to the course with a presentation in mind, one they plan to make in the near future, that they will be asked to work on and then present at the end of the workshop.

On-Campus Edition Admission Process & Fees
The admission process entails a three-step process

  1. Participants complete and submit the online application.
  2. The Executive Education Department will email you to acknowledge receipt and provide further details on program dates, pre-program academic materials and bank details to submit payment.
  3. Proceed with the payment of the program’s fee. This is an essential requisite to access the pre-readings and participate in the program. Two weeks before the start date, participants receive an email with a user name to access the IESE Virtual Campus and pre-readings


  • General fee: € 4,850
  • Alumni fee: € 4,365
  • IESE Alumni Association members: € 4,123
  • Executive Education Certificate fee: An additional 5% discount on the general or IESE Alumni Association member fee.

The program fee is tax-exempt. Payment is required before the program begins and includes all academic materials and most meals. Please note that travel and accommodation expenses are not included.

Discounts are available for corporate agreements and multiple registrations from the same company. Space is limited and filled in strict order of reception so early registration is encouraged.

Participants in the on-campus Madrid edition can benefit from special rates at the following hotels: Exe Moncloa 4*EUROSTAR Zarzuela Park 4*AC Hotel Aravaca 4*Meliá Madrid Princesa 5*Trip España 4*, NH Madrid Chamberí 3*.

Payment Details
We accept payments by credit card, check or wire.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received within 20 days before the program’s start date are subject to a fee equivalent to 25% of tuition. IESE reserves the right to cancel this edition or modify 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 if they are unable to attend for personal or professional reasons.


On Campus: Madrid
June 20-22, 2023


Focused Programs
Mª Jesús Biechy | Director
(+34) 93 253 6504
How to arrive




  •  Companies with corporate agreements with IESE: discount of up to 20%.

    Discount on multiple applications, for individuals and teams: up to 25% for groups of four or more people.

    The more focused programs you take, the more benefits you will receive: you can get discounts from 5% up to 15%.

    Contact here the Focused Program team to find out conditions and more details.

  •  Special price for alumni: 10% discount.

     Special price for Members of the IESE Alumni Association: 15% discount. Recommend 2 participants and each one will also get 15% off.

    Loyalty card: IESE alumni or members who take more than 1 program annually will accumulate discounts of up to 30%.

    Contact here the Focused Program team to find out conditions and more details.

  • Entrepreneurs.

    Executive women.


    Contact here to find out more about the scholarships’ criteria and admission process.

  • If interested in obtaining Executive Education Certificate:

    Complete, at least, 4 Focused Programs, in English or Spanish, within three years. The 4 programs must total a minimum of 12 days of learning.

    In addition to earning the IESE Executive Education Certificate, you will enjoy a series of other exclusive benefits:

    Professional guidance with an IESE adviser.

    5% discount on any future Focused Program.

    Possibility of becoming a Member of the IESE Alumni Association, which delivers a broad array of exclusive benefits. Discover here how to make the most of the membership.

Focused Programs Portfolio | IESE Business School


#1 in Executive Education 2015-2020 by Financial Times | IESE Business School

#2 in Executive Education 2022 by Financial Times | IESE Business School
#3 in Open Programs 2022 by Financial Times | IESE Business School