New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been named as the world’s most eloquent head of state, based on her communication and public speaking skills.
The study by a UK-based professional development training academy found that Ardern employs an empathetic leadership style very effectively.
“She challenges the common perception that emotional communication shows weakness, instead choosing to approach the public with a softer, emotionally mature touch which makes her very relatable,” the experts from the Development Academy wing of Acuity Training said.
“She has a measured and authoritative sincerity about her. She is kind and compassionate, without shying away from tough issues which makes her a highly engaging and trustworthy public speaker.”
Experts analysed 100 hours of footage to make choice
The academy has just published its list of who it considers to be the Top Ten Most Eloquent World Leaders.
To compile the list, the experts analysed more than 100 hours of footage from press conferences, assemblies, political events and other public appearances over the last 12 months.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is listed in second place and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is third.
The top five is rounded out by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland.
Australia’s Prime Minister comes in at number 10
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is 10th on the list.
“The Australian Prime Minister has greatly improved his reputation since the country’s devastating bushfires earlier this year,” the academy says. “This is thanks in large part to his communication skills during the coronavirus pandemic.”
The experts note that “Mr Morrison has been open, emotional and even vulnerable during his addresses to the Australian people, demonstrating to voters that he shares in their pain”.
Two prominent leaders who didn’t make it
Two world leaders who appear regularly on our TV screens but didn’t make the top 10 are the UK’s Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.
Of Trump, the academy said: “President Trump has always taken a ‘thinking out loud’ approach to public speaking. This is a characteristic that has not changed since he took office in 2017.
“He reacts to questions before he has given himself time to think and so struggles to come up with thoughtful, appropriate answers. He will often jump to a new topic before concluding the previous one, causing his audience to lose interest or become frustrated.”
The other world leaders in the top 10 are: Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark (6th); Emmanuel Macron, President of France (7th); Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway (8th); and Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy (9th).