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Dr Bernard Cheong in an interview with CNA Lifestyle
Dr Bernard Cheong in an interview with CNA Lifestyle

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Dr Bernard Cheong delivers stories like clockwork in timeless interview

Dr Bernard Cheong has an obsession: he collects watches.

But for us who are obsessive about interview techniques, it was his appearance on CNA which had us spellbound, which is why we have nominated him for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2020.

Watch and read below for my assessment.


We launched the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards in 2018 to recognise local business leaders for their communications skills, and to showcase authentic and credible home-grown communicators.

Supported by the Asia Pacific Association of Communications Directors, we highlight shining examples for other local business leaders to follow, and to build a culture of excellence in communication, to maximise the potential of Asian companies in the Asian Century.


  • Story

Cheong is all about the story. He has a flair as a storyteller and he makes everything interesting through his choice of words and his references.

He claims the oldest watch in his collection still has dust from the “Wild West”, saying such watches were used to link the east and west coasts in the United States.

  • Analogy

Cheong uses analogies that are quirky and grab attention. As founder of Lifeline Medical Group, his professional life centres around medical equipment that extends people's lifespans. But he says a watch has an extremely long lifespan and it does not require fuel, but the laws of physics. This means watches can be immortal. What a comparison!

  • Interesting Delivery

It is not just the words that sparkle in Cheong’s stories, it is also how he delivers them. Cheong’s voice goes across tones as he talks about his watches. He stresses certain words for emphasis, as he talks about how being an extremist led to his watch collecting hobby. Watch from 01:00 to 01:12 in the video.

  • Candour

When talking about a watch he bought for 1.2 million dollars, he asks rhetorically, “would you buy a house or watch?”

On the subject of people unwilling to buy watches owned by people who have passed away, Cheong said: “Don’t be afraid of buying second-hand watches just because it may be a dead person’s watch. Assume that it is, and he’s blessing you for it.”

Such honest moments make the interviewee more trustworthy – we all like interviewees who throw back the curtain and make a revelation, rather than guarded chatbots delivering corporate lines.

If you know Bernard Cheong, share this article with him and congratulate him on being nominated for the Hong Bao Media Savvy Awards 2020.

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Mark Laudi

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