‘Let he who shouts the loudest…’

There is – or perhaps was – a Latin saying to the effect of: ‘Let he who shouts the loudest be heard first’... But does shouting louder necessarily work?

We’ve moved into a world where influencing without authority has become the most sought-after skill. People power continues to grow apace – witness the Arab Spring, and uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere. And imagine you are Barack Obama – how would you leverage your position so you can have an impact on Putin without hitting the big red button?

Throughout the world, political and business leaders are coming to terms with the fact that they have to show more finesse, and engage in a wider range of tactics and use personal power if they are to exert sufficient influence to take their organisations forward.

According to Peter Nelson, Programme Director on Henley’s Influencing & Leadership Impact Programme: “In business, we often hear knowledgeable speakers at conferences and lectures, but only rarely do we experience speakers so compelling that they draw us in like magnets, holding on their every word. It’s a rare gift to be able to captivate an audience, and such exceptional orators move us physically and intellectually. We find ourselves nodding in affirmation of what they say.

‘When we analyse why these impressive speakers have such an impact, we find that it’s usually the case that they are not table-bangers… on the contrary. They have developed the art of communicating with gravitas and authority without resorting to merely using volume to reinforce their message.’

‘And on a one-to-one basis, they also seem to have a charm and impact, inspiring their colleagues and associates, and showing a deft ability to disarm confrontation in a way which leads to a calm and mutually-agreeable resolution.’

‘Being loud and passionate can be very positive and inspiring too, but we’re increasingly seeing the most influential leaders displaying more subtle ways of engaging with their audiences.’

Here at Henley Business School we’ve grasped the importance of this trend.

To find out more, read about the Influencing & Leadership Impact Programme.


Peter Nelson is Programme Director for Influencing & Leadership Impact. He has delivered programmes at Henley for ten years and also delivers sessions on Henley MBA programmes, the Advanced Management Programme and on customised programmes for a range of corporate clients. His main areas of interest include negotiation skills, business pitches, influencing, personal impact and presentation skills. Peter originally trained as an accountant before joining a training organisation. As a director and one of the major shareholders he helped build a successful management training consultancy which employed 108 full-time consultants. During this time Peter balanced the roles of finance director, running programmes and conferences, as well as responsibility for business development and large contracts. Major clients included BT, Barclays and The Royal Bank of Scotland. He pioneered business theatre and was possibly the first person to employ a full-time producer and actors to work within a business training environment. He has run training courses and conferences for organisations in Europe, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and North America.

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If you have any questions, please contact our programme advisors, Hannah, Ruhi & Diana by email at exec@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418767.