Justin Trudeau, does he impact people when he speaks?

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Much has been written about Justin Trudeau’s first 100 days as prime minister.

Promises he’s kept, those he might keep and those he simply cannot keep. Although Mr. Trudeau has his share of detractors in Canada, most Canadians think he is on the right track. In fact, he is one of the world’s most admired leaders. Find out why.

All of that is well and good, but my interest in Mr. Trudeau is as a communicator. Specifically, how well he delivers the spoken word. Many have said that they find him refreshing, that he sets a new tone. But, does he impact people when he speaks?

I’ve been asked that question before and have had difficulty answering it. When you watch Justin Trudeau at a media conference or in an interview, his speaking skills are fine but in need of some refinement. He tends to speak at a hectic pace. His rate of words is brisk and that’s ok, in fact encouraged, but he doesn’t punctuate ideas with proper ‘silent’ pauses. He tends to join them with uhmm’s, that is to say ‘audible’ pauses. Still and yet, there is something I really like about Justin’s style.

I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Trudeau at a fundraiser before the last federal election, a gathering of some forty people. I must say that I wasn’t expecting to be impressed, yet when we met, I was. He seemed relaxed, confident, but not at all full of himself. I liked our short chat and he seemed to as well.

What I noticed then and in his first 100 days of office is that whenever he speaks, he appears sincere and authentic. No matter what question is tossed his way, he seems to have adopted a mindset of, “Thanks for the question, here’s what I think.” He has never been defensive; always open and forthcoming.

No politician can fulfill all of their promises. I doubt that Mr. Trudeau will either. Certainly, I hope that he brushes up his speaking skills, and I think he will over time. But my real hope is that he stays sincere and genuine over the course of his entire office. Authenticity is fundamental to every great communicator. We need more of that in our leaders.