Angela Merkel named second most eloquent leader in the world

Angela Merkel named second most eloquent leader in the world

She’s been consistently praised for her astute handling of the coronavirus crisis, named Germany’s most popular politician, and recently seen her approval rating soar - and now German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received yet another accolade: being named the second-most eloquent leader in the world. 

Germany’s Merkel tops ranking of world’s most eloquent leaders

The UK-based training company Development Academy analysed more than 100 hours of footage from press conferences, assemblies, political events and other public appearances over the last 12 months to rank the 10 most eloquent world leaders, based on their communication and public speaking skills. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel scored particularly highly, coming second only to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Adern - another world leader who has been praised for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Overall, five of the top 10 leaders on the Development Academy’s list are women, despite only 19 countries out of 193 worldwide (less than 10 percent) having a female head of state. 

Merkel praised for “calm and controlled” approach

In particular, the Development Academy praises Merkel for her “crisis communication skills” and her “direct, calm and controlled” manner of speaking. By “keeping gestures to a minimum and her tone of voice even,” they write, Merkel “projects confidence and experience at a time [when] this is in short supply.” 

That Merkel’s speaking style is singled out for praise is yet another example of how the coronavirus crisis has caused public perspectives to shift. In the past, critics generally poked fun at Merkel’s unemotional and direct manner: in 2014, for instance, her speeches were branded “monotone” by the New Yorker. 

But her once-derided straightforwardness has actually proved to be an asset in recent times of great uncertainty. Her speeches during the coronavirus crisis - for which she drew on her scientific background to give clear, logical explanations of the public health crisis - generated widespread praise and saw her approval ratings among voters soar. 

The top 10 most eloquent world leaders

The top 10 most eloquent world leaders named in the Development Academy ranking were as follows:

  • 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

The ranking also names UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Donald Trump as two world leaders who haven’t quite “cracked the code” and frequently hit the wrong mark when addressing the nation. 

You can read the full ranking on the Development Academy website



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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