Nicola Sturgeon has been ranked one of world’s most eloquent leaders, alongside New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The list saw Ardern top the list for her ’empathetic leadership style’, just ahead of German chancellor Angela Merkel, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi in third place and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, who was ranked fourth.
Scotland’s first minister came fifth and was described as being ‘clear, calm and compassionate’ by the experts who drew up the list.
It means three of the top five were women.
Professional development coaches from the Development Academy wing of Acuity Training compiled the list after reviewing more than 100 hours of footage from press conferences, speeches and other public addresses throughout 2020.
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Ardern ‘challenges the common perception that emotional communication shows weakness, instead choosing to approach the public with softer touch’, the experts said.
They added: ‘She has a measured and authoritative sincerity about her – she is kind and compassionate, without shying away from tough issues.’
Speaking about Scotland’s first minister they said: ‘Nicola Sturgeon has received a lot of praise for her response to the coronavirus pandemic – and it’s not hard to see why.
‘She is clear, calm and compassionate, is not afraid to be tough or emotional, and she has a great sense of humour.
‘There’s no sense of performance with Sturgeon – she is very real.’
The list put Mette Frederiksen in sixth place, Emmanuel Macron in seventh place, Erna Solberg in eighth, Giuseppe Conte in ninth, and Scott Morrison in tenth.
They described prime minister Boris Johnson as a ‘very unique public speaker’, saying: ‘Unlike many of his colleagues, the former foreign secretary and mayor of London has had a tendency to forgo pauses in favour of muttering or waffling, and his use of odd or obscure references often left people confused about his message.’
But they added: ‘In recent months, however, the prime minister has made some real improvements to his communication and presentation skills, for example, he doesn’t stumble over his words as often.’
Former US president Barack Obama was named as the most effective communicator of the last decade.
His successor Donald Trump was criticised by the experts, who said: ‘His overuse of metaphors and analogies is confusing for many and he occasionally slurs on words.’
Development Academy director Ben Richardson said: ‘World leaders have the ability to inspire us, motivate us, shock us and even scare us – there is tremendous power in great public speaking, and 2020 has certainly provided our heads of state with some serious talking points.
‘But despite the requirement to make several public appearances and speeches in their roles, there are some world leaders who aren’t always on the right track when it comes to addressing their nation.
‘We decided to analyse the communication and presentation skills of leaders from around the world to determine the list and it’s great to see so many female leaders featuring on it.’
He added: ‘Jacinda Ardern for example, is a sincere and compassionate speaker, while Nicola Sturgeon is very engaging while demonstrating empathy.’
‘There are some fantastic – and not so fantastic – examples of public speakers from this research and it’s fascinating that although there are only around 10% of women in leadership roles worldwide, female leaders make up 50% of the top communicators.’