Staff

John West

Head of Speech Coaching

Over the last fifteen years, John West has established himself internationally among the world's most sought-after and versatile speech coaches.

Clients include those from:
The United Nations, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Nasdaq, Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Google, Deutsche Bank, Doctors without Borders, Deerfield, Waze, BlackRock, Bridgewater, Accenture, Barclays, MediaCom, and many more who seek John's guidance in effective communication / presentation skills and voice enhancement.

John and New York Speech Coaching have been featured in Business Insider, Vice, the New York Post, Business Advice Service, Career Builder, Fusion, Money*ish, Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Esquire, and NPR among others.

John is a member of American MENSA, and is known for his ebullient style and ability to imitate nearly any accent or voice. This enables him to demonstratively convey to clients the appropriate adjustments to achieve a healthy and effective sound for their professional and personal pursuits.

Paul Geiger Speech Coach

Paul Geiger

Senior Speech Coaching Associate

Paul Geiger’s speech coaching specialties at New York Speech Coaching are: the dynamics of public speaking, accent reduction and the subtleties of business communications. He is the author of Better Business Speech: Techniques, Tricks, and Shortcuts for Public Speaking at Work. Paul has worked with individuals and groups from a wide range of national and international companies: Google, Morgan Stanley, UNICEF, Banco do Brasil, and Waze to name a few.

Paul is also an accomplished actor, voiceover artist, and on camera host, having done work for: Days Of Our Lives, All My Children, Mercedes Benz, Platinum Technologies and Coldwell Banker.

The physical and psychological aspects of speech are addressed in Paul’s singular teaching concept of owning your breath and clear articulation of perspective. In his years at New York Speech Coaching, he has developed a customizable program of action steps that get results.

In Paul’s words, “You gain confidence when you gain control of your speech technique. Knowing there are steps you can take begins the process of empowering each individual to become more expressive and more persuasive in a truthful and authentic way.”

To read Paul’s client testimonials, click here.

Brendan Houdek

BRENDAN HOUDEK M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Head of Speech Pathology/Senior Speech Coaching Associate

Brendan Houdek is a New York City and Long Island-based speech-language pathologist, musician, voice teacher, and speech coach. Brendan holds a Master of Arts degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Hofstra University as well as Bachelor of Arts degrees in Speech Communications and Philosophy/Religious Studies from St. Joseph’s College.

Brendan’s introduction to the world of speech coaching was through his interest in accent and dialect modification. His passion for this work, in combination with his love of music, guided him throughout his education and career in speech-language pathology, leading him to focus in related areas of the field. His areas of expertise in speech-language pathology include work with articulation, resonance, fluency, and voice disorders, which have enabled him to have a detailed understanding of these components of the speech mechanism. This background has equipped him with a unique perspective when working with clients. Brendan takes pleasure in not only providing therapeutic services through his work in speech-language pathology, but also in assisting others achieve their goals through speech coaching. Brendan firmly believes in the value of attaining the ability to speak in a manner that represents the true self and enables one to communicate more effectively.

Brendan took part in the NYVC Voice Teacher Training under the teaching of Justin Stoney to develop a better understanding of the nuances of the singing voice. In doing so, he has learned valuable information to assist him in his therapeutic and coaching endeavors for both singers and speakers alike. The Voice Teacher Training has been the highlight of his career as a musician, therapist, and coach.

A multi-instrumentalist, Brendan performs regularly in the Long Island area at various venues as well as local churches. He is grateful that he has the opportunity to do so in multiple genres and on a variety of instruments. His musical proficiencies include the voice, guitar, bass, drums, tuba, piano, ukulele, mandolin, and various forms of hand percussion.

Brendan combines the science of speech-language pathology with the knowledge gained through vocal artistry to provide clients with the most comprehensive and balanced understanding of the speaking voice. It brings him great joy in assisting others on their path to enhancing themselves as speakers and individuals.

To read Brendan's client testimonials, click here.

Joel Rainwater

JOEL RAINWATER

Lead Instructor

Joel Rainwater comes to New York Speech Coaching after previously working with The Promentum Group as a speech coach, delivery consultant, and speech content creator for former professional athletes, CEOs, and keynote speakers.

Joel believes that a healthy balance of technique and authenticity are the key ingredients for compelling public speech, and he employs a diverse array of breathing and vocal exercises in order to help clients achieve their goals. He has coached speakers in utilizing emphasis, inflection, rhetoric, and verbal action as means of communicating more effectively.

Joel specializes in assisting prospective employees as they prepare for job interviews. He has spoken about his proven preparation techniques at university campuses throughout the country.

Joel is a seasoned Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater performer. He received his BFA in theatre performance from the University of Evansville in Indiana, and his MFA in acting from American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Joel is also a Harlaxton College presidential essayist. Speech clarity and vocal production are his main focuses

To read Joel's client testimonials, click here.

Clara Pagone Speech Coach

CLARA PAGONE

Speech Coaching Associate

Clara Pagone is an associate speech instructor with over 12 years of experience. Her expertise ranges from the corporate world to the arts, working as a lawyer, public speaker on trustee boards, and in corporate training, international debate tournaments, in vocal health for stage, screen, singing dance and movement, directing, producing, bilingual performances, and dialect coaching.

Clara has Bachelor's Degrees in Law and Biomedical Science from Monash University, and she is an alumnus of Anne Bogart's SITI Company Conservatory NYC.

Clara grew up between Italy and Australia and is fluent in both Italian and English. She discovered a passion for studying Romance languages and was accepted to study in Salisbury, Great Britain. She participated in tournaments with the Debaters' Association and public speaking teams, later adjudicating state debating and state performance competitions. Clara has directed at Melbourne's notable La Mama Theatre, lead directed for Acting Antics devising self-motivated children's performances, and worked as a trainee lawyer for Maurice Blackburn, specializing in Medical Law and Consumer Affairs.

Clara's speech coaching is an integrated approach, focusing on classical text articulation and breathing techniques, principles of meditation, hydration, sight, scientific awareness of the body as a changing entity, corporate sensitivities, and the relationship between ear and voice. Clara is skilled in the ability to equip any person with the tools and confidence to move an audience and to communicate clearly and with conviction.

To read Clara's client testimonials, click here.

Eric Van Tielen

ERIC VAN TIELEN

Speech Coaching Associate

Eric Van Tielen is an associate speech instructor with over 10 years of experience in professional teaching and private coaching. Eric's teaching combines his background in corporate communication, speech and debate, theatre, and classical singing for a practical and professional approach to public speaking and voice work. He has been a voice coach and professional actor for 20 years and is equally at home with artists and professionals alike.

Eric works with his clients to discover their most free and natural sound. He strives to give his clients a working knowledge of their voice and the ability to control it in any situation - whether a job interview, a presentation, social interactions, or corporate meetings.

Corporate clients such as Bloomberg News, New York 1, Pinterest, and Morgan Stanley count on Eric to be their Executive Presence specialist. He has consistently empowered his clients to "walk the walk and talk the talk."

Eric has led workshops across the country with universities and theatre companies including Indiana University, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse University, and Berkshire Theatre Group. As an actor, he has been seen on the Broadway stage, in national and international touring productions, and regionally at theaters around the country.

To read Eric's client testimonials, click here.

Tricia Veldman Speech Coach

TRICIA VELDMAN M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Speech Pathology Associate / Speech Coaching Associate

Tricia Veldman is a bilingual speech-language pathologist currently living in Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bilingual Extension in Italian, from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida.

Tricia is trained across a variety of speech-language domains. Her more specific experiences includes public speaking, voice, fluency, bilingual populations, accent modification, and adolescent social skills training. Tricia focuses on equipping others with the confidence to feel comfortable with public speaking in any situation, conversation, or presentation. She combines her knowledge of psychology and interpersonal communication to guide clients in promoting their own self-expression and personal success.

As a passion project, Tricia co-hosts The Lost Art of Communication podcast. Each episode analyzes the evolution of communication in a digital age and includes actionable steps for listeners to implement in their day-to-day conversations.

Recognizing that learning styles vary on an individual basis, Tricia utilizes client-specific therapy and coaching to achieve the most impactful and long-lasting results. Her business clients include lawyers, consultants, entrepreneurs, health coaches, graphic designers, engineers, teachers, and employees of companies such as: Conde Nast, Reddit, Equinox, the United Nations, and Disney.

Tricia offre tutti i servizi anche in Italiano.

To read Tricia's client testimonials, click here.

Caleb Shomaker

CALEB SHOMAKER

Speech Coaching Associate

Caleb Shomaker is an associate speech instructor, voice and text coach, and educator. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and Mathematics from New York University and is an alumnus of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Caleb honed his appreciation for the art of public speaking while participating in the New York Speech Coaching Teacher Training Program under the instruction of Brendan Houdek and John West. His style of coaching incorporates his experiences as both a performer and acting coach with his passions for anatomy, psychology, and philosophy.

Caleb is currently the Resident Vocal Director at Shakespeare in the Square. He uses the same skill set to help his clients enhance their vocal instruments by practicing the techniques necessary for honest, expressive, and effective communication.

To read Caleb's client testimonials, click here.

Justin Stoney

Founder and President of New York Vocal Coaching and affiliates

Justin Stoney founded New York Vocal Coaching and affiliates including New York Speech Coaching, and is currently available as NYVC's head instructor for those interested in singing lessons. He is an internationally recognized Voice Teacher and Vocal/Speech Coach. As one of the leading Voice Teachers in today’s music industry, he has appeared on the NBC Today Show, CBS, Fox News, Fox 5 New York, The Insider, and is a frequent guest on Huffington Post Live’s interviews of celebrity singers. His teaching has been featured in publications such as Esquire Magazine, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, NME, Fox News Magazine, Discovery News, Medical Daily, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, UK’s Daily Mail, Vice Magazine, Marie Claire, and Backstage Magazine. Backstage readers also voted Mr. Stoney as one of New York City’s best Voice Teachers and Vocal Coaches. For more on Justin and New York Vocal Coaching, please click here.

Alaina Fragoso

ALAINA FRAGOSO

New York Speech Administrative Assistant

Alaina Fragoso is New York Speech Coaching’s Administrative Assistant. Growing up in a suburb of Boston, Alaina has always had a passion for acting and singing. She graduated from Emerson College after studying performing arts, and eventually, she moved to New York City.

While helping clients achieve their speech goals, Alaina continues to pursue her dreams by auditioning, taking various classes around the city, and performing whenever she can! She’s been featured in social media ads for major beer brands, the International Fringe Festival, and staged readings for Broadway composers, among many other productions in and around New York and New England.

www.alainafragoso.com