Jacinda Ardern overcomes stiff competition to be named world's most eloquent leader

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has overcome stiff competition to be named the world's most eloquent leader, with professional development coaches praising her "empathetic leadership style".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Labour Party Congress 2020. Source: Getty

Ms Ardern beat the likes of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the top spot.

It comes after professional development coaches from Acuity Training's Development Academy compiled a list ranking the heads of state for their public speaking after analysing more than 100 hours of footage from press conferences, political events and other public appearances over the past year.

The coaches praised Ms Ardern for her "empathetic leadership style", which they described as compassionate without shying away from difficult topics.

"She challenges the common perception that emotional communication shows weakness, instead choosing to approach the public with softer touch," they said.

"She has a measured and authoritative sincerity about her – she is kind and compassionate, without shying away from tough issues."

Ms Merkel came in second, with experts noting the chancellor has received high praise over her handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly her crisis communication skills.

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"She is direct, yet calm and controlled, giving the aura of confidence and experience," they wrote.

"She keeps gestures to a minimum and her tone of voice even when she speaks, but conveys a degree of emotion that engages people."

Mr Modi came in third, with the Indian Prime Minister being praised as an "exceptional public speaker" whose eye contact and positive body language "captivates his audience".

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison came in at number 10, with experts noticing an improvement in the world leader's reputation following the devastating bushfires earlier this year.

Scott Morrison. Source: Getty

"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."

Only two world leaders were identified as needing improvement: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump.

Mr Johnson was criticised for his "tendency to forgo pauses in favour of muttering or waffling", with the judges adding that his "use of odd or obscure references often left people confused about his message".

The coaches said the world leader has improved in recent months, however.

"During what has already been a significantly challenging year, the PM appears to be authoritative and in control."

Meanwhile, the coaches said Mr Trump "has always taken a ‘thinking out loud’ approach to public speaking, 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 offer appropriate answers. He will often jump to a new topic before concluding the previous one, causing his audience to lose interest or become frustrated."

They said while Mr Johnson has made "noticeable improvements since becoming Prime Minister", Mr Trump "has done little to address the flaws in his style of public speaking".

Half of the world leaders who made the top 10 were women.

The Top 10 List of Eloquent World Leaders: 
1. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
2. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
3. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
4. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
5. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland
6. Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark
7. Emmanuel Macron, President of France
8. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
9. Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy
10. Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia