Klaus crowned king of rhetoric by new poll

Václav Klaus

Václav Klaus is the king of Czech public speaking, at least according to a new poll. A jury of academics, spokespeople and news anchors found the president’s rhetoric the best in the Czech Republic, while Deputy Prime Minister Jiří Čunek was told to wash his mouth out. The poll looked at the ten politicians who have enjoyed the most airtime in the last month. The man behind it was Tomáš Studeník from the Westminster agency:

“Václav Klaus is the best speaking politician in terms of language, this means that he never uses vulgar language or slang or expressions which are not up to the right standard. So, in terms of language and its use, and construction of sentences, he is the example. Where he doesn’t score so well is in the other, non-verbal aspects of communication, where he uses some gestures and body postures which are sometimes judged as inappropriate and offensive or arrogant. But if you listen to, or read, Václav Klaus’s speeches, they are impeccable.”

Jiří Čunek,  photo: CTK
At the other end of the spectrum is Deputy Prime Minister Jiří Čunek, can you tell me why he scored so badly and came last in this poll?

“What Jiří Čunek is not able to do – what the jury judged him unable to do – was to differentiate between communicating with the media, making public announcements, and communicating with his friends, a group of his pals. So that is the main criticism that the jury had. Both the language and the use of non-verbal elements in his communication are the same, whether he is in a press conference or a pub.”

Can you tell me a bit about the other eight we haven’t mentioned there? Was there anything particularly interesting that came up, for example I hear that Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek came second last?

Mirek Topolánek,  photo: CTK
“What is interesting is that on the whole, Václav Klaus is the best communicator. But if we look at some of the individual criteria, like people’s expressive abilities for example, then Pavel Bém, Prague’s Mayor, came first. His use of expressive language, his gestures, his accent and intonation really make him a very engaging speaker. Václav Klaus came second in this field. If we look at rhetoric ability, which are mostly connected with the use of strategy, how to build a speech, how to construct an argument etc. then Miroslav Kalousek came first. If we look at non-verbal communication, because 60 or 70 percent of all communication is non-verbal, which means that your listeners will probably not remember a word of what I said, but might remember if I said it in a good way or nice tone, then David Rath came first. His use of gestures and facial expressions is really top of the class in Czech politics.”