What makes Narendra Modi such an effective communicator?
We have not seen a more popular leader than Narendra Modi for a very long time, perhaps never in the independent history of India. Such has been his popularity that wherever he goes; whether its UP, Bengal Maharashtra, Gujarat Assam, or even Kerala; people gather in large numbers to listen to him, to see him.
Narendra Modi seems to connect with people at a personal level. He is not a great poet, certainly not the best of orators, but that does not lessens the impact he leaves on the listeners. The barriers of language, gender, age, caste, community – all seem to break when it comes to his connection with the people.
So, what makes him such an effective communicator? How is he able to generate so much passion among millions of people? How is he able to connect with the people at a personal level?
This can be a big research topic in itself, like most of the things he does.
But I think it all boils down to two things – his massive pool of knowledge about India and her civilization, and second, his ethos and values which any child receives who comes from a poor or middle class background.
So when he speaks, he does not have to use any pre-written speeches and is free to use his hands and facial expression to match his words and feelings, which makes the words even more effective. Many a times, he speaks like he is having a conversation with the people. And he has something to offer to everyone while conversing.
He can talk as easily to a housewife whose entire life is about doing a tough job of managing a household, as to a professional sitting on a high post. He can communicate as easily with small traders and businessmen as with a farmer or a daily wager. He can converse as easily with powerful world leaders as with a small kid.
This is an amazing ability to be able to talk to people from every walk of life, all having very diverse issues and world view.
Most of us get brought up with Indian values but as we grow old, many of us tend to forget the lessons and values learned in the past. We remain mostly concerned with the present and worried about the future. On the other hand, Narendra Modi seems to accumulate and assimilate all the life lessons, all the values that he has received since childhood.
In a recent interview with Rajat Sharma in “Aap Ki Adalat”, if you listen to his reply regarding Captain Abhinandan, Balakot and Pakistan; you would forget that he is talking about something as serious as National Security. And its not because he wants to get a few laughs or applause, but he likes to break it down to a very basic level so that everyone can understand.
For example, he said regarding Balakot air strikes that “Pakistan had put a lot of force on the ground because of the surgical strikes that happened last time, so we went from the air like Bajrang Bali.” He made his decision sound so simple. No need to complicate things and overthink them to make them bigger than they are. It does not mean that he does not go through each and every detail while deciding or executing something. He is able to break down his decision making process, his thinking process to such a level that anyone can understand and relate to it.
His image of an honest politician who more often than not, keeps his promises. He tends to speak up his mind and there is a consistency in his position regarding different issues, which makes it easier for him to not come across as hypocrite most of the times, like it is the case with most of the politicians most of the time. His journey from a poor kid to the most powerful seat of the country is an inspirational story irrespective of your ideology and politics.
All these things make him a package when he speaks to the people. People not just listen to Narendra Modi but they listen to the man with all these qualities and traits. If you are already in awe of someone’s character or personality, you tend to listen to him more intently. Also, the content of the message is more important than the way it is delivered.
That’s what makes him such an effective communicator. He is able to communicate his message directly to the common man in a way that he understands.