One topic that frequently arises amongst my colleagues and me is how to evaluate facilitator / public speaker talent.
I came across an article in Scientific American from a couple years ago that was about how we judge people - specifically, how we can more accurately judge them based on 'blink'-like observations. Although much of the article is based on a person's environmental choices (like how they keep their house), the study provides some fascinating pieces of information.
One point is that a person's appearance has little to no validity on intellectual abilities, but we all have mental models (filters with which we see the world) that change how we judge others based on their appearance. To truly get an accurate intellectual picture of a person, Peter Borkenau's studies show that we need to listen to someone read out loud for only three minutes to construct a rather accurate image of his or her mental capacities. (I assume this means standard academic intelligence areas such as linguistic and verbal capacities.)
I wonder how other successful companies who hire presenter and facilitator talent hire.