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Elon Musk and Tesla’s new battery system

What does good communication look like?
Elon Musk standing in front of a Tesla car
© Deakin University

Inspiring people and building trust during a presentation are two indicators of good communication.

Have you heard of Elon Musk? If not, you may have heard of one of his many companies and products? The Tesla Motors electric car? The SpaceX Falcon space rockets?

Because he is an exceptional leader in the areas of technology and engineering, he presents a good example of what effective communication skills look like.

Watch the video by Elon Musk introducing Tesla’s new battery system.

(Note: some links to YouTube may not be available in some countries.)

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

What are some of his key communication traits?

He shows a combination of great interpersonal skills, being inspirational and exhibiting trustworthiness.

Interpersonal skills

Elon Musk’s interpersonal skills encompass being able to listen to his colleagues, customers and audience. He is always polite and attentive to people he engages with.

He knows how to create relationships and connections (in a business sense and in a presentation) as well as how to act in various often unique environments or situations.


Musk’s speeches and presentations inspire because you can clearly see he is excited about the Tesla battery system, or whatever it is he is talking about.

When you see someone who is genuinely excited about a product they are pitching, that is appealing to the audience. He is actually invested in this product in every way and wants to share his enthusiasm with the public.

Despite talking about a battery for 20 minutes he managed to engage the audience on the importance of eliminating humanity’s use of fossil fuels. His solution was well thought out, and he discussed how it can be achieved in a clear and concise way. He had the audience on their feet, invested and applauding.


Musk is honest about what a new product can do and where it can fit into the market. He will not try to oversell the product and he cuts out the jargon.

This brings an element of trust, because you know the product he is pitching and talking about is close to what he believes it will be. In his presentation on the Tesla battery system, he simply describes the problem of using fossil fuels and presents a plausible solution to solve the problem. No fancy theatrics or ‘smoke and mirrors’.

Your task

Did you notice anything else that Elon Musk does well or not so well in terms of his ability to communicate? Discuss your ideas in the comments section. Remember to like other learners comments that you find particularly interesting.

© Deakin University
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