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10 Secrets for Hiring Executives Who Command the Stage

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In the business world, your ability to communicate ideas effectively is crucial to how you’re received. This isn’t just about the content of your ideas, contrary to what some who lack communication skills but excel in creativity might believe. A significant portion of communication is nonverbal, encompassing factors like posture, eye contact, body language, and how you occupy your space.

These elements influence the perceived authority of your spoken words. Consider an audience exposed to two different presentations: one from a person lacking confidence but presenting a groundbreaking idea, and another from a confident and charismatic individual with a decent proposal. The audience is more likely to favor the latter speaker.

Public Speaker Pointers

  • Define Clear Requirements: Clearly outline the specific speaking and presentation skills you are looking for in an executive candidate.
  • Pre-Screening Questions: Use pre-screening interview questions that require candidates to elaborate on their public speaking experience and style.
  • Look for Proven Experience: Consider only candidates who have a track record of speaking at industry events, conferences, or internal meetings.
  • Check References: Speak to former colleagues or clients who can vouch for the candidate’s speaking abilities.
  • Request Video Samples: If possible, ask for recorded speaking engagements to assess the candidate’s onstage presence and communication skills.
  • Conduct a Presentation Test: During the interview process, have the candidate present on a relevant topic to assess their public speaking capabilities.
  • Assess Adaptability: Question candidates on how they would tailor their message for different audiences, from employees to shareholders.
  • Use Assessment Tools: Utilize speaking and personality assessments to gauge whether the candidate’s public speaking style aligns with your corporate culture.
  • Team Evaluation: Allow team members to participate in the evaluation process, offering feedback on how well the candidate communicates.
  • Consider Outside Training: If public speaking is a crucial but not a deal-breaking skill, consider whether the candidate could be trained to meet your standards.

When hiring a new executive through a reputable executive search service, several factors come into play. Business acumen, experience, and overall attitude toward the prospective role are essential. However, equally crucial is how they present themselves, especially if they will serve as the leader or public face of your business.

These are merely some of the advantages that an executive with strong public speaking skills can bring to the role you’re promoting. If you’re an aspiring executive, heed this advice closely.

Direct, One On One Communication

Succeeding in public speaking or conference meetings may be easier than you think. During the interview, pay close attention to how candidates engage with you and the panel. Do they shift their focus among audience members without directly addressing anyone, or do they selectively engage with individuals before moving on to the next person? If you observe the latter behavior, it’s a strong indication that they are experienced or well-trained in public speaking. This focused approach can exude an aura of authority, which is exactly what you want in a rising executive for your organization.


How effectively does the interviewee communicate? Do they meander around the topic or clutter their speech with unnecessary embellishments? Are they trying to impress you by throwing every piece of their knowledge your way in one go? Alternatively, do they get straight to the point? Brevity is a valuable trait, especially for someone vying for an executive position, where clear and concise communication is paramount.


Public speaking involves skillfully reading an audience. This employee will essentially become the face of your company to potential clients, so it’s crucial to view them as a sort of brand ambassador. Naturally, their role extends far beyond serving as a mascot; they have more substantive responsibilities that are key to the success of your business.

In the business world, a large part of how you’re received is how you communicate ideas. This doesn’t just include the content of the ideas, much to the protest of those who might lack communication skills but are inventive of useful concepts.Click To Tweet

Nonetheless, they should be well-versed in your target demographic. When presenting to either that audience or shareholders, they must be attuned to who they’re speaking to. During interviews, request their perspective on who the ideal customer for your product is, and directly ask for their thoughts on the most effective communication methods for reaching that audience. While they can be trained in the specifics later, a candidate with a solid initial understanding is more likely to be a strong fit.

The confidence displayed during the interview can be a good indicator of their public speaking abilities. If they have undergone training from established public speaking programs like Toastmasters International, they are likely well-suited for the role you’re offering.


In today’s fast-paced business environment, the ability to communicate effectively is more crucial than ever. Hiring an executive who not only excels in their field but also commands the stage can set your organization apart. By implementing these ten secrets into your hiring process, you’ll be well-equipped to identify candidates who bring both leadership prowess and exceptional public speaking skills to the table. From clearly defining requirements to assessing adaptability, each step is designed to help you make an informed decision. Remember, the right executive can be a game-changer, elevating your company’s profile and driving its vision forward.

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