Leaders That Listen: Public Speaking Curriculum


Why We Need Leaders That Listen

Why We Need Leaders That Listen


Tools Provided

  • Background Readings
  • Case Stories
  • Speech Templates
  • Practice Exercises
  • Project and Activity Ideas
  • Rubrics
  • Example Course Syllabus
  • Project Planners

As a teacher and public speaking coach, I have always been drawn to the quirkiest students.

I love unexpected perspectives that make me think about an issue in a different way and inspire me to care about experiences I never understood. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by images of leadership and models of public speaking dominated by examples that are loud, angry, and driven by ego. Every day, I encounter students from as young as 7 all the way to adulthood who have beautiful voices and incredible stories but do not believe they are important. They have been taught that they aren’t leaders because they do not look, act, or sound like the people in power.

It is important to have mentors and a community to help you have the courage of your own convictions; just because you don’t look or sound like everyone else doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to have a voice. Our society needs leaders who know how to facilitate diverse perspectives, learn from different experiences, care about human beings, and listen without an agenda. This curriculum is a starting point for educators, coaches, and emerging public speakers of all ages who want methods for communicating in a way that is authentic and real, empowering their inner leader and encouraging diverse voices through inclusive education. Explore the guides in any order and choose tools that best fit your needs and build your confidence. Gather inspiration and feel free to adapt as you develop your skills and the abilities of those you lead.


About the Author

As Founder and Executive Director of Bay Area non-profit, The Practice Space, AnnMarie Baines brings 20 years of experience coaching public speaking for youth and adults and currently teaches public speaking at UC Berkeley. As a Filipina leader, Dr. Baines is deeply committed to equity, and was awarded a Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship. In prior work, Dr. Baines was a program officer at the George Lucas Educational Foundation, where she applied her expertise in curriculum, project-based learning, and professional development. She began her career as a high school special education teacher and utilizes the Universal Design for Learning framework. Dr. Baines received her PhD in Learning Sciences from University of Washington, teaching credential from Boston Teacher Residency, and Master’s in Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The Leaders That Listen curriculum is made possible by a grant from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Special thanks to Angela DeBarger, Sara Waters Design Group, Min Lee, Jessica Mironov, Rody Boonchouy, Lola Sims, Tashaka Merriweather, and Gillian Grisman.

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