The AI analysis looked into ten Nordic company leaders’ speaking skills, assessing six factors to measure the speaker’s impactfulness. The leaders analyzed represent the most valuable brands from the Nordics. LEGO Group CEO Niels B. Christiansen tops the list, followed by H&M CEO Helena Helmersson, and Telia CEO Allison Kirkby. Finnish giant Nokia places 10th.

HELSINKI, Finland (September 21st, 2023) The first ever Nordic Leader Speaker Index has been published, ranking ten leaders of Nordic companies based on the impactfulness of their speaking skills. The analysis was done using MySpeaker Rhetorich, a new AI-powered platform developed for assessing speaking impact. The AI generates a score based on the six drivers of impactful speaking: credibility, likability, authenticity, presence, persuasion, and storytelling. The drivers are based on deep learning algorithms.

Out of the ten leaders, the Danish LEGO Group’s CEO Niels B. Christiansen comes out on top, scoring the highest in four out of six drivers: credibility, likeability, persuasiveness, and authenticity.

“It is interesting to experience that toy brands like LEGO and Barbie are boosting their brand value through exceptional marketing communications and reaching a stronger position in the minds of their audiences,” says internationally awarded branding and marketing expert Eka Ruola from Nitro Group.

“As one of the smallest companies by market cap in the top ten Nordic brands, Christiansen has clearly contributed to LEGO’s brand value with his effective verbal communication ability. His combination of speaking skills is rare with top scores in four of the drivers of impactful speaking. If a leader is perceived as both credible and likable, his effectiveness in the CEO role receives a substantial boost,” says André Noël Chaker, the Chair and Co-founder of MySpeaker Rhetorich.

Christiansen is followed by H&M’s CEO Helena Helmersson whose storytelling skills are the highest on the list. Of all the drivers of impactful speech, storytelling is the most important one for businesses that are brand-driven.

“The ability to produce so-called ‘corporate speak’ in the form of anecdotes, cases or other compelling narratives is key in driving interest and engagement of all stakeholders,” points out Maria Krajewska-Olkkonen, COO of MySpeaker Rhetorich.

The third most impactful speaker is Allison Kirkby, the British CEO of Swedish teleoperator company Telia. Her presence was the best out of the leaders analyzed, with the excellent eye contact and facial expressions.

“I am also happy to see female leaders in second and third position. Presence is also a key ingredient for capturing the interest of customers, reporters and investors,” says Krajewska-Olkkonen.

Having a highly impactful speaker in a leadership position, who is able to communicate vision, mission and the core business of the company to different audiences, increases brand value.

“The drivers of impactful speaking – which we call the Big Six – are really the building blocks for inspiring leadership that gets all stakeholders excited to join the journey the company is on. Eventually, this will influence the bottom line and the financial value of the company. For example, Sara Blakely, the founder of SPANX and a well-known keynote speaker and powerful storyteller, sold her majority stake in the company for more than a billion dollars,” says Chaker.

Speakers that are not as impactful as the top three typically have lower scores in storytelling and presence.

“In general, storytelling is challenging for technology companies in the Nordics. Everyone in the top ten is a highly skilled speaker, but it’s interesting to note how the two top positions go to a toy and fashion company while the technology companies are behind them,” comments Chaker.

Members of the MySpeaker Group of MySpeaker Rhetorich, an AI-powered platform used for the Nordic Leader Speaker Index
Members of the MySpeaker Group of MySpeaker Rhetorich an AI powered platform used for the Nordic Leader Speaker Index

Nordic Leader Speaker Index 2023

  1. Niels B. Christiansen, President and CEO, LEGO Group
  2. Helena Helmersson, President and CEO, H&M
  3. Allison Kirkby, President and CEO, Telia
  4. Anders Opedal, President and CEO, Equinor
  5. Sigve Brekke, President and CEO, Telenor
  6. Daniel Ek, CEO and Co-founder, Spotify
  7. Jesper Brodin, CEO, INGKA Holding
  8. Martin Lundstedt, President CEO, Volvo
  9. Frank Vang-Jensen, President and CEO, Nordea Bank
  10. Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO, Nokia
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