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Corona in Germany- The Performer and Supportive to Government | 100W

Mar 20, 2020 8:43:07 AM / by Simon Tschuertz

Covid-19 is the current hot topic. No matter which TV station, newspaper or news portal you open, you will be finding the latest information everywhere. People already speak of Corona Germany. Politicians are not sleeping either and are implementing measures to contain the economic, medical and social consequences of the crisis. In our media-oriented society, it is not only important to take action, but also to communicate it to the population and demonstrate strength. The different personalities of our politicians become clear in this process. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder are two politicians who have addressed the population in the last few days. How were their speeches received? Was the communication of the contents successfully delivered? We uncover the differences in their speeches.

Results of the evaluation

The transcripts of Angela Merkel's TV speech on 18.03.2020 and Markus Söder's speech on 16.03.2020 are the material for the analysis, which was carried out using 100W software - an automated analysis of motives and regulatory focus. The basics of the influence of motives and the regulatory focus on people, especially in consumption, can be found in the following blog post or in an abbreviated form in the Basics section.

In the following presentation we have compared the motives and the regulatory focus of the two persons. Both persons appeared very authentic in their language.

However, their motives and regulatory focus differed significantly.


Evaluation of Mr Söders speech


Evaluation of Mrs Merkels speech-1


Interpretation of Mr Söder's Speech Interpretation of Mrs. Merkels's Speech


Viewing the subject categories:

There are three basic motives according to David McClelland's "Need Theory". These are the performance motive (yellow), the relationship motive (green) and the power & control motive, which we call leadership motive (blue). The illustration shows these 3 motives from 11 - 16 o'clock. The outer edge of the circle describes the zero line, i.e. the average expected value of the occurrence of words with this meaning in language.

Evaluation New year speech of Frau Merkel


Interpretation of Msr. Merkel's Ne Year 2020 Speech


It is noticeable that Mr. Söder particularly emphasizes the performance motive in his language. We associate this motive with people who:

  • master difficult tasks
  • do better
  • overcome problems
  • Achieving a high standard
  • demonstrate talent
  • examine others in competition


Put somewhat more simply, we associate it with a "doer" and performer. Mrs. Merkel, on the other hand, does not use any of the characteristics above average in her language, which gives the impression of a very balanced, sober and state-forming portrayal. So she does not position herself with a language that emphasises cohesion or relationship in particular, as was the case, for example, with her New Year's speech for 2020.

Representation in a circle of motives

If the motives were shown in a circle, the following picture would result: Mr. Söder is very much in the area of "performance", i.e. achievement, while Mrs. Merkel is less likely to show a clear "edge" and thus wants to reach all people equally. This seems to be a deliberate change in her language due to the addressing of risk. 

Let us take a look at the categories of regulatory focus. This is made up of the emotionality, profit orientation and analytical language. Here, too, we see clear differences. In particular, we distinguish between the two focuses. One person can be in the promotional focus and figuratively speaking consider the "glass as half full", while another person is in the preventive focus and therefore considers the "glass as half empty".

Mrs. Merkel's language is clearly influenced by few and rather negative emotions and the emphasis on risk. In this way, she clearly addresses the risks of the corona crisis. Here too, especially in comparison to the New Year's speech, in which she shone with more positive emotions. Mr. Söder, on the other hand, tends to use a more balanced language, which on the one hand presents the risks analytically, but on the other hand, also offers the prospect of possibilities and work on the problem. So he has more profit aspects, so more of "we can do it" in his speech.

In this case, both take on different roles. Mr. Söder positions himself as the "doer" who tackles and implements things, while Mrs. Merkel takes on her role as the soberly balanced one who clearly identifies the risks and the consequences.


Fundamentals of sales psychology: motivation and regulatory focus

Basically, a person's motives express implicit desires and goals - from an innate need to eat like something to a personal dream of admiring the northern lights once in a lifetime. Therefore, sales psychology distinguishes between three primary motives:

  • The performance motive (for example, the idea of wanting to be better today than yesterday)
  • The power motive (for example, the need to guide or care for people)
  • The connection motive (for example by cultivating community and positive relationships and avoiding isolation)

These motives are differently pronounced in each person. However, the weighting of the individual motifs in human language and their use by a person can be seen. This means therefore: The more important it is for a person to improve, for example, the performance of the previous day, the more clearly this effort is reflected in an unconscious choice of words. You can use these social insights to respond to people's implicit needs and goals in a profitable and optimal way.

But not only the motives of people alone are important for good communication. In sales psychology, the so-called regulatory focus is also a profitable factor in understanding people. Sales psychology distinguishes between the so-called Promotion Focus and the so-called Prevention Focus:


  • Promotion Focus = also an approaching tendency: Focuses on a person's well-being so that the person ultimately bases his or her decisions on the maximum reward.
  • Prevention Focus = also avoidance tendency: Emphasizes especially the effort to avoid displeasure so that the person directs his actions primarily towards the choice of positive solutions within his comfort zone.

People with a high level of initiative and willingness to perform (=Promotion Focus), for example, feel better addressed by expressions that hold out the prospect of profit and success.


Stick together in the crisis

Let us stick together in the crisis. We want to support you in finding the right words for your employees, customers, business partners and the population. Therefore we offer our solution free of charge to interested companies and authorities in these challenging times. Find the right words with our support. Words that convey the confidence needed to overcome this crisis together and emerge from it stronger.


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Tags: Psychological AI, Analyse, Corona, coronavirus pandemic, covid 19, artificial intelligence, speech analysis, Speech interpretation, communication, corona in germany

Written By Simon Tschuertz

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