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Best Public Speakers Series: Studying Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern is a politician who has been serving as the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. We identified Jacinda as one of the best public speakers due to her ability to convey a warm presence and still be firm and confident in her beliefs.



The best public speakers event we reviewed: Her interview addressing Covid, borders, NZ First, and Ihumātao.


Jacinda’s greatest public speaking skills:


  1. Strong voice: Jacinda has a strong, low-pitched voice that conveys confidence in her message. (:18, :37, 3:40, 5:27, 6:05,13:29)

  2. Direct, engaging eye contact: She keeps her focus on the camera and audience as she is waiting to respond to questions and while she is speaking. This makes the listeners feel engaged, connected, and drawn into the discussion. (:18, :37, 1:23, 6:05, 14:12, 18:25)

  3. Warm facial expressions: Jacinda has a nice smile and uses it to match the messages that she delivers. (:44, 3:35, 9:42, 10:07, 11:02, 13:29, 15:03)

  4. Sticks to her beliefs and maintains control during questioning: In the midst of difficult questioning, she sharpens her tone and becomes more convicted in her beliefs. When the interviewer tries to interject, she stands her ground and asks to finish her statement. (3:40, 5:27, 6:05, 10:15, 14:12)

What Jacinda could do to improve her public speaking skills:


  1. Minimize unintentional movement and keep a still, upright posture: Jacinda tends to have a lot of movement in the frame of her body and head as she is speaking. She also tilts her body and head as she is speaking which can be perceived as less confident. We recommend keeping the frame of your body still and upright to “Be Big” and convey physical poise. Put movement into gestures instead. (:18, :47, 1:33, 3:19, 5:44, 6:25, 14:22)

  2. Incorporate more grand gestures: She tends to keep her arms close to her body making her appear small. By adding in grand gestures, she will convey passion and energy, not only in her voice, but also in her visual cues. (:18, :37, 1:33, 4:20, 6:25, 14:22)

  3. Minimize uptick: At times, Jacinda will increase her pitch at the ends of words or phrases. This could be perceived as uncertainty. When delivering declarative statements, focus on ending in a downward pitch to show your conviction. (:40, :46, 1:07, 1:49, 2:25, 5:49, 18:25)


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Do you have a goal in 2021 to become one of the best public speakers in your organization? Speak by Design coaching focuses on the public speaking skills needed to become a consistently compelling force within your organization. We give you the tools to navigate your most difficult situations and demanding audiences.


Contact Speak by Design to learn how we can help you make the breakthrough you have been waiting for.

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