Best and worst communicators of 2013

New Update

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: While it may be easier to earn space in the spotlight if you are a chart-topping musician, a politician or a business executive, effective communication skills are essential in order to motivate action, drive change and influence the status quo.


Decker Communications Inc., the leading business communications training and consulting firm, announced the 18th annual Top Ten Best and Worst Communicators of 2013.

"From informal conversations and tweets to high-stakes interviews and speeches, we are constantly communicating," affirmed Ben Decker, CEO of Decker Communications. "This Top Ten is always fun to do, and it creates great discussion. We get to compile the list with help from our clients, Twitter followers and team members, and we love doing it because it creates buzz about communication."

Decker Communications provides communication strategies, training and actionable insights to c-suite executives and their teams. Most of their teachings, however, are relevant and applicable to a wider audience.


"Each person on the Top Ten list demonstrates a unique and critical lesson that we can apply immediately to be more effective at communicating with our colleagues, our customers, and even at home with our kids," Decker added.

Heed the lessons of the year's top leaders, athletes, politicians and celebrities.

The Highlights:

The challenge and testament of a true communicator is to lead and influence action. The best communicators of 2013 created change, caused us to think and act differently, and powerfully moved us in the process.


Top 10 Best Communicators of 2013:

1. Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafazi

2. Dick Costolo

3. Pope Francis

4. Astro Teller

5. Blake Mycoskie

6. Alan Mulally

7. Debbie Sterling

8. Chris Christie

9. Dr. Brene Brown

10. Jimmy Spithill

United against injustice and persecution, the top spot is shared by two extraordinary communicators - symbolically passing the torch from the legendary Nelson Mandela to the young Malala Yousafazi, poised and outspoken beyond her years.

Mandela was a consummate communicator. An icon of unrelenting dedication, he epitomized three communications lessons: Authenticity, influence and humble confidence.


Yousafazi burst forth on the scene in 2013. Confident, focused, likable and articulate, she has command of message, and she continues to speak out for freedom and education for all. A modern symbol of influence, she inspires through communication.

The Lowlights:

Obfuscation at best, lying at worst - those are the common denominators of the year's worst communicators. Common to all are poor communications skills, and for most, missed opportunity to use influence or a circumstance for positive impact.

Top 10 Worst Communicators of 2013:

1. James Clapper

2. Paula Deen

3. John Boehner and Harry Reid

4. Chip Wilson

5. Richie Incognito and Mike Rice

6. Miley Cyrus

7. Anthony Weiner

8. Edward Snowden

9. Rob Ford

10. President Obama

James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, testified before a congressional committee, and when asked a yes-or-no question, he answered - so undermining trust and believability that this clip of head scratching has become a classic example of behavior contradicting content. Unfortunately for Clapper, it was a symptom of many.