Best Public Speakers Series: Studying Mary Barra

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

Mary Barra is a businesswoman who has been the chairman and CEO of General Motors Company since 2014. She is the first female CEO of a major automaker.

best public speakers

Creator: Steve Fecht | Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors

What we reviewed: CNBC interview about future of electric vehicles


  1. Eye contact: Locks and holds with camera / interviewer which creates connection. (:20)

  2. Strong word choice: Great use of vocal variety, stress, and pacing to show credibility. (:30)

  3. Client-centered language: Directly answers question being asked. (2:30)

  4. Calm and poised when asked about competitors: Uses a smile to make response light-hearted. (3:08)

  5. Trusted advisor: Pivots focus back to her upcoming production of electric vehicles which shows level of expertise and builds trust. (3:20)

  6. Appeals to all: Gets back to client-focused language. (4:00)