AnnMarie Baines is an educator, researcher, and public speaking coach. As the founder and executive director of Bay Area nonprofit, The Practice Space, she helps build confidence and community for people of all ages through communication skill development. She has over 20 years of experience coaching public speaking in high schools, universities, and community-based settings to promote self-advocacy skills and elevate underrepresented voices. Her methods focus on designing inclusive and engaging experiences that develop voice, agency, and empathy through strong facilitation and supportive relationships. Her work at The Practice Space spans multiple cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she is also on faculty at UC Berkeley, where she teaches public speaking in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.
For Dr. Baines, strong oral communication is more than a skill; it is a vehicle for people to find their voice, express their identity, and cultivate connections with others to create positive change. Throughout her work, she draws upon her background as a qualitative researcher studying ways to design learning environments to be more inclusive and equitable, especially for students who are historically underserved. As a former high school special education teacher and long-time speech and debate coach, she believes in creating supportive, team-based opportunities for people to express who they are in a clear, compelling, and engaging way that builds connections with others. In addition to her current work at The Practice Space and UC Berkeley, Dr. Baines is trained in voiceover acting and classical voice and has sung with both the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Boston Symphony.
In her prior work, Dr. Baines managed project-based learning research partnerships with the George Lucas Educational Foundation and worked with beginning teachers as an Assistant Professor of Secondary Education at San Francisco State University. She received her PhD in the Learning Sciences from University of Washington, Master’s in Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education, teaching credential from the Boston Teacher Residency, and undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.