Public Speaker: Jack Ma as an Effective Communicator

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Vanderbilt University
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Jack Ma is a Chinese businessman who is currently ranked second on the 100 leadership board for his excellent communication skills with a score of 89.50. He is the founder and CEO of Alibaba. He is known to be a brilliant public speaker. In his public speaking forums, Jack Ma inspires individuals to have love, be able to push people and keep in mind that being a chairman is not a fun activity (Gothard, 2017).

Regarding love, Ma discussed three types of IQ that a leader needs. That is the IQ, EQ and the LQ which is love quotient. A leader should genuinely love the team members since their lives are in the hands of the leader. Ma says that leadership is about being a humble servant to the team, to ensure that get what they need and understand where they need to go. Also, leadership is about pushing people especially in instances where there are hard problems. A leader must be able to inspire his/her team through most difficult moments as they find ways to move through it and see past it. Amidst helping the team, the leader must push people to their limits to have a smooth future. Also, Ma indicates in his speech that it is not fun to be a chairman. Ma is a chairman of over a thousand employees. Though he admits he always make it look easy, his life is not. He says that if a person wants a comfortable life, he or she should not be a leader. He says a leader should always be present to fix problems, whether it is 6 in the morning or on a Sunday.

Ma is an effective speaker because of his demonstration of substance when giving his speech. Throughout his speech, Ma can connect his ideas. While many speakers often compound their concepts on few occasions, he can compound his ideas regularly. While delivering his speech, he often takes few comments to get into his primary points. Once he gets to his points, he compounds the concepts as many times as possible. Ma is pretty authentic with a calm and realistic posture. He gives himself time and eye movements. As indicated by Knapp, Vangelisti & Caughlin (2015), eye movement is important in displaying authenticity in a discussion. Eye movement demonstrates a natural process of thinking that is not scripted before a conversation. Ma sets a platform for effective communication by not being in a rush to speak. He only speaks when he is ready and moves his eyes to help him invigorate his ideas to come out. While delivering his speech, Ma can connect with the audience. Ma makes his speech look like a structured conversation with the audience. He gives stories that make the audience connect with his speech. His spacing and the eye movements allow him to capture the attention of reader when he is delivering his speech. He sets a condition for story telling which as indicated by Baccarani & Bonfanti (2015) helps a speaker to connect with the audience.

Ma uses extemporaneous speaking in his presentation. He carefully plans and rehearses his speech, which enables him to deliver the message in a conversational manner using brief notes. This method of delivery helps Ma to set up and maintain eye to eye connection with the audience and furthermore evaluate how well they comprehend the discourse as it advances. This method of delivery makes me want to emulate Ma as not only is extemporaneous speaking appealing, but also offers a speaker the opportunity to restate ideas or concepts that the audience has troubles understanding.

Ma has an effective speaking style because it is easy to agree, digest and remember his message. I admire Mas ability to appeal to the emotions of the audience. In some instances where I am listening to him, I have turned around to look audiences faces, to understand what he explains as his lasting appeal. He offers his tales regarding overcoming challenges and defying odds which drive some audience to tears. I want to emulate Mas characteristic of evoking emotions as it helps a speaker to persuade the audience and make the speech memorable.

Another feature that I admire in Jack Ma is his capability to connect with audiences from diverse cultures. For instance, he relishes his speech with a bit of pop-culture like citing movies and other references to ensure that the audience gets his points. Ma knows who will be sitting in the crowd and he tailors his messages to reach his audience regardless of their backgrounds.

In conclusion, Jack Ma is an incredible public speaker who can speak clearly and compellingly. While talking, he can connect with the audience and speaks with substance. I admire his extemporaneous speaking method of delivering a speech, authenticity, his features of being able to evoke emotions in the audience, the ability to convey information to a diverse audience and knowing his audience.



Baccarani, C., & Bonfanti, A. (2015). Effective public speaking: a conceptual framework in the corporate-communication field. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 20(3), 375-390.

Gothard. B. (2017). Jack Ma Leadership: Empowering others. Retrieved from:

Knapp, M. L., Vangelisti, A. L., & Caughlin, J. P. (2014). Interpersonal communication & human relationships. Pearson Higher Ed.

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