How to be an inspiring leader

Written by
Simon Delaney, tutor, RADA Business

24 Nov 2020

24 Nov 2020 • by Simon Delaney, tutor, RADA Business

Motivating and inspiring others is key to a leader’s success. Simon Delaney, a tutor at RADA Business, provides insight.

Maintaining connection and engagement with your team, as you guide them through uncertainty and crisis, is often the difference between success and failure.

Although storytelling is often associated with narrative, at RADA Business we look at storytelling in a broader sense. We help leaders create emotional connections with their audience, to move them to action, and to perform at their best. 

There are some simple storytelling principles, which business leaders can use to help them inspire others.

Emotions create motion

Remember that humans are influenced by emotions, as well as information. Every business story needs a clear purpose, so take the time to consider what you want your audience to think, feel and do as a result of your communication. This will inform not only the story you are telling, but how you choose to tell it.

Harnessing the power of storytelling by focussing on how you want your audience to feel helps leaders to spark the hearts and minds of those they work with. It encourages them to see and connect with the bigger picture, and ultimately inspire them to take action. 

Less is more

Sharing too much information with your audience can become confusing and lead people to disengage. Only tell your audience what you need them to know and avoid being tempted to share every tiny detail. 

Don’t hold back

Great storytelling may require you to make yourself vulnerable, and risk being seen by others in a different way. Fully commit to the delivery of your story to bring people with you on the journey.

Create vivid imagery

Paint pictures in your audience’s imagination. Try to use varied and descriptive language to help people remember the story you are telling. Choose language that will help you to create a vision your audience can see as clearly as you can.


Rehearse your story and message aloud before you deliver it. By doing this, you will get used to what it feels like to say the words, not just think them. Having the content well-rehearsed will allow you to focus on the delivery. Learning the structure and journey of what you’d like to say is more important than learning it like a script. 

Enjoy yourself and others will too

Most importantly of all: enjoy yourself! If you are emotionally engaged, if you care about the story you are telling, your audience is much more likely to do the same. Experiment with what works for you – and your audience.

By using these simple storytelling techniques, leaders can begin to unlock their ability to inspire.

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