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Barack Obama

Signs of good leadership

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 December, 2009, 12:00am

After Barack Obama's recent visit to the mainland, many people have been comparing the American leader with President Hu Jintao . I am not very familiar with politics so I cannot comment on their abilities. But, having watched them speak, I can see some differences.

Both of them are confident - in a different way. Obama shows his confidence through his words, his smile and his tone. He can easily influence his audience. That's why so many Americans voted for him.

Hu's confidence comes from the emergence of China on the international stage. The country is now an economic and military powerhouse, and Hu's very proud of it. But I don't think he's as persuasive as Obama.

Although ability is the most decisive factor for a leader, a person with good speaking skills can gain support from leaders in other countries.

Chan Pak-hay

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Pak-hay. Obama is certainly a very good speaker and has been able to charm audiences all over the world. Would-be debaters can learn a lot from studying him and the construction of his speeches.

But that is not to say Hu is not a good speaker. Perhaps the mainland style is a little more formal than the American style, so his delivery might come across as being flatter than that of Obama's.

Susan, Editor