author imageCarolyn Williams
Carolyn Williams began writing and editing professionally over 20 years ago. Her work appears on various websites. An avid traveler, swimmer and golf enthusiast, Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College and a Master of Business Administration from St. Mary’s College of California.


The more you practice your public speaking skills, the easier it will be to speak in front of a group. Exercises for public speaking in class can help you continue to advance your public-speaking abilities. Classroom exercises help if you’re teaching a course on public speaking, wish to incorporate public speaking into your general curriculum or want to brush up in advance of your class.

Imaginary Animal
Give students 10 minutes to create an imaginary animal and prepare information about the animal. List five questions on the board to ensure students have a uniform set of information to present, such as its habitat, size, color, sound, number of legs and predatory abilities. Have students then present their animal in front of the class using their notes and answering each of the questions. This type of exercise helps students gain confidence, a critical component when speaking in front of a group. Since the animal is known only to the student, she can share information with an air of authority and expertise.

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John Browne

John Browne, Former foot soldier in Bill Gates army of world domination.


I can only tell you what it was like in my experiences; not what it’s like today. For all I know Bill has changed his methods and style in his foundation.

Over the years at Microsoft meetings to review plans and status on products morphed into something that, by the last few years that Bill was still at the company, caused product teams enormous amounts of grief and worry. My experience of Billg meetings were that he would ask the three vital questions that you hadn’t thought of, and that, in hindsight, were obviously critical to your plans. How he managed to do that I don’t know.

He was always late. His schedule was always crammed–it was tough to schedule time on his calendar. You’d be in the room all set and waiting for him to show up. When he did it was all business, no small talk, no fooling around. You’d start the presentation and he’d interrupt with questions; he wouldn’t wait until you were done.

Bill was (and probably still is) super analytical. What you couldn’t do in a meeting with Bill is speak to your intuition or feelings about stuff; what he wanted to know was what facts could you bring to the table. Everybody can argue about their hunches, or intuition, or best guess; nobody can argue with data. So instead of saying “We think we customers will really value extended database capabilities in Excel” you would need to say, “Here are the results of extensive customer feedback, help desk issues, focus groups, and market surveys that tell us that the most common use for Excel is to create non-relational databases, basically flat files.”

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