CEMS business students learn about leadership from the dramatic arts

A group of young future business leaders got the unique chance to spend the day at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) on Friday 17 February, where they undertook training to increase their personal impact and influence as leaders.

Students studying the CEMS Master in International Management programme at the LSE spent an eye-opening day learning from dramatic arts experts how to use physical presence to increase gravitas and credibility.

They worked on vocal presence by learning how to make a more resonant sound with their voice; first impressions by becoming more aware of voice, body, eye contact and space; and skills for networking, including how to break in and out of conversations and planning what they want to achieve from networking opportunities.

The programme at LSE equips students with the skills necessary to succeed in their managerial careers. It involves guest speaker sessions from industry experts on various management topics such as strategy, HR, risk and leadership. Students also participate in business projects, where each student group works on a real project for their client company.

The LSE RADA in Business day started in 2016 and was so successful that it took place for a second time this year. The day helps young business-people improve their communication skills and personal impact through coaching that is inspired by drama training techniques. The objective was to introduce students to the concepts of influence, presence and impact in a business context.

Professor Sandy Pepper, Programme Director at LSE, said: “The RADA in Business day was a great success with students who participated in 2016, so we had no hesitation in repeating the event this year. I am a great believer in the proposition that, if you teach business people some basic acting skills and techniques, you can significantly improve their performance as communicators. Personal presence, impact, and communication techniques are important skills for business people and management students to learn, and RADA teaches these things better than anyone else.

Roland Siegers, Executive Director of CEMS, said: The most successful managers and leaders are highly effective communicators who are skilled at influencing and have a positive impact and presence. Through the efforts of our CEMS business school partners across the world – such as LSE – we are able to offer opportunities, such as this day at RADA, to help our students develop the broad range of skills they need to thrive as business leaders.”

The CEMS programme unites international-calibre professors from leading universities and business schools, multinational companies and non-profit organisations, jointly designing and delivering both theoretical knowledge and practical know-how through the CEMS Master’s in International Management.

CEMS was founded in 1988 and the network includes 30 Schools across 5 continents, working with 73 Corporate Partners (multinational companies) and 7 Social Partners (NGOs). There are currently 1,264 MIM CEMS students of 70 nationalities and 12,029 alumni of 85 nationalities, working in 75 countries.

Upon graduation, students’ careers take a truly international path in a great variety of sectors and in many cases within multinational companies:
• 98% are employed or continuing their studies
• 46% are living outside of their home country
• 78% work for multinational companies