About New York Speech Coaching & Staff

New York Speech Coaching was established in 2005 by leading vocal technician Justin Stoney, and co-founded by world-renowned and pioneering speech coach John West. Our approach to the physiological and psychological aspects of speaking is centered around helping our clients find authenticity while maintaining comfortable control under pressure.

We serve the corporate community, as well as individuals of all ages from all walks of life at our studio in Midtown Manhattan and through online sessions. We also offer training at your offices across the globe.

We want clients from all walks of life to feel welcome and comfortable working with us. For more information on our diversity and inclusion initiatives, click here.

We are not here to tell our clients how they should talk, or how to “talk better”. We're here to endow them with tools to come across how they want, when they want, regardless of the circumstances.

John West Co-Founder, New York Speech Coaching

Brendan Houdek Schedule with Brendan

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Brendan Houdek

M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD / Head of Speech Pathology / Senior Instructor

Brendan Houdek (M.A., CCC-SLP) is a senior instructor at New York Speech Coaching. He specializes in effective business communication, executive presence, and vocal production. His teaching emphasizes control over one’s speaking abilities to be utilized as they see fit in any speaking situation. His training covers not only the physiological aspects of speech production, but also presentational performance and psychological perspective work.

Brendan’s clientele consists of individuals and groups from Google, Disney, Forbes, Nasdaq, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Capital One, MetLife, and McGraw-Hill. Brendan’s private clients include C-suite executives, politicians, doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyers, journalists, law enforcement officials, architects, TV executives, actors, musicians, art curators, literary agents, engineers, psychologists, software developers, and more.

In addition to his work as a speech coach, Brendan is a NYS-licensed and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, specializing in voice and fluency disorders. He is the head of New York Speech Pathology. His in-depth understanding of vocal anatomy and physiology assists his coaching by enabling him to provide speakers with healthy and efficient vocal technique.

Brendan also is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and voice impressionist, hosting the show Voice Breakdown on YouTube. These skills further enable him to have deep insights into the voice and performance.

Tricia Veldman Schedule with Tricia

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Tricia Veldman

M.S., CCC-SLP, TSSLD / Founder of Georgia Speech Coaching / Associate Instructor

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 include 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.

Daniel Reece Schedule with Daniel

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Daniel Reece

Associate Instructor

Daniel Reece is a speech instructor with over ten years of experience in education. With a background in performance, Daniel fosters authenticity in his approach to voice and speech. He works with clients to explore their instrument with curiosity and guides them toward a visceral, full-body consciousness of their range and power. Daniel aims to share his understanding gleaned from over fifteen years on stage and screen of what the body experiences when one is speaking in public. He gives his clients agency to trust in their ability to harness that energy and speak with clarity, confidence, and ease.

After receiving his MFA from the Yale School of Drama, Daniel has been working in New York City as a speech coach, voiceover artist, and professional actor. Additionally, Daniel works as a drama-based learning facilitator, helping businesses around the globe develop behavioral skills in the workplace through customized role-play scenarios and independent communication coaching. He has worked with organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Visa, and Goldman Sachs, among others.

Prior to his coaching work in New York, Daniel was the theatre department head and public speaking instructor at a private school in Connecticut. He has worked across the country at theaters including The Public Theatre, The Prototype Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and The Old Globe. On screen, Daniel has appeared on television shows including Modern Love, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Elementary, Public Morals, and Bluff City Law.

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Joel Rainwater

Associate 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.

Clients at New York Speech Coaching include those from Amazon, Nasdaq, Deutsche Bank, Google, Pinterest, Spotify, Spiegelworld, Morgan Stanley, and E*TRADE, as well as in fields ranging from private equity, technology, advertising, medicine, law, media, publishing, education, research, entertainment, clergy, journalism, and funeral directing.

Joel coaches speakers in proven physical and practical public speaking techniques which improve composure, articulation, and vocal projection. He also guides his clients toward significantly reducing the compulsive verbal and physical habits that compromise effective communication. This approach gives his clients confidence in themselves and credibility with the listener, whether it's a single interviewer or an audience of hundreds.

Joel is a seasoned Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater performer. He received his BFA in theater performance from the University of Evansville in Indiana, and his MFA in acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Joel is also a Harlaxton College presidential essayist. He specializes in executive presence, speech clarity, vocal production, presentation skills, interview technique, audition preparation, and accent reduction.

Caleb Shomaker Schedule with Caleb

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Caleb Shomaker

Head of Education / Associate Instructor

Caleb Shomaker is an associate speech instructor specializing in accent modification, presentation skills, and vocal clarity. After working with students of all ages in general education for 8 years, he now assumes the role of Head of Education at New York Speech Coaching, where he supervises the internship and work-study programs. Caleb also established the volunteer arm of the company, connecting speech coaches with those struggling with housing instability or joblessness.

Caleb’s clients include individuals from Uber, Unilever, Shearman & Stirling, Grand Street Settlement, the Department of Education, ACE, and the Swedish-American Chamber of Congress, among others. His students attest to his infectious enthusiasm and passion for speech, offering a balance of playfulness and rigor within the classroom.

Caleb's coaching methods incorporate business communication strategies, anatomical understanding, and humanistic psychology. He grounds each of these in practical exercises that allow his clients to understand their relevance and near-immediate application. He excels at translating complex ideas into language accessible to students of all backgrounds.

Caleb holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and Mathematics from New York University and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where he studied and apprenticed with world-renowned voice and speech faculty. He also participated in the New York Speech Coaching Teacher Training Program under the instruction of Brendan Houdek and John West. Prior to his work with New York Speech Coaching, Caleb served as the Resident Vocal Director for Shakespeare in the Square for several years, providing voice and dialect coaching for numerous performances.

Becca Grossman Schedule with Becca

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Becca Grossman

Associate Instructor

Becca Grossman (MS, CF-SLP) is a speech-language pathologist and Associate Instructor. Her experience as a medical professional and trained actress informs her individualized coaching style, tailored to meet the needs of her clients. Her knowledge of presentation, performance, and human anatomy and physiology contribute to her evidence-based, client-centered approach. Her training lends itself to promoting functional, effective, and confident communication for her clients.

After studying theater performance at the undergraduate level, she earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Loyola University Maryland. There she participated in graduate research on production and perceptions of the voice. More recently, she was chosen to complete a clinical fellowship with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Long Beach California, where she specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders among medically complex patients.

As a speech coach, Becca’s clients range from organizations including Goldman Sachs, Stanford University, Etsy, Slack, Obe Fitness, and Actors Equity Association. Becca’s students leave their sessions feeling successful, challenged, and in control of their ability to communicate fearlessly and with ease.

With her lively personality and empathetic nature, Becca fosters meaningful relationships with clients while helping them achieve their most personal voice and speech goals.


Price: $125/hr.

As we are committed to accessible training, New York Speech Coaching offers a discounted rate of $125 with an instructor-in-training. Please note the following stipulations apply:

Consultations are not available with an instructor-in-training, and the instructor with whom you are working may change at any time. While our desire is to offer consistency, and we will do so when possible, several instructors may be going through the process.

The cancellation fee still applies to both client and instructor.

Clients working with instructors-in-training also agree that their lessons may be observed (but not recorded) at any point by our staff or interns. While not all sessions will be observed, we ask that you only pursue the instructor-in-training tier if you are comfortable with observed sessions. If not, we recommend scheduling with an associate instructor.

As these sessions provide an opportunity for the instructor-in-training to sharpen their skills as a teacher, clients working with an instructor-in-training complete brief, periodic surveys regarding their satisfaction. This information is for internal use only and will not be shared with the instructor.

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Xavier Clark Schedule with Xavier

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Xavier Clark

Instructor In Training

Xavier Clark (he/him/his) is a bilingual speech teacher, accent/dialect coach, and public speaking coach currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California San Diego, where he taught Public Speaking to STEM students and specialized in Edith Skinner Speech Technique, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he currently is on faculty through the Stella Adler Studio of Acting as a Voice and Speech instructor.

Esther Fallick Schedule with Esther

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Esther Fallick

Instructor In Training

Esther Fallick (she/her) is thrilled to be an Instructor-in-Training at New York Speech Coaching. Her background in improvisational and musical performance informs her vibrant coaching style. As a recently-out transgender woman, she intimately understands the importance of being seen and heard on one’s own terms. She is passionate about helping others unearth limiting barriers to their self-expression and empowering them to find and use their own voices.

Experts from LEK Consulting, NYU (Investments), Sumitomo Mitusi Banking Corporation, CBC Radio, JP Morgan Chase, Edward Jones, Columbia University, Dell, and Uber have worked with Esther. Clients of Esther’s note that her familiarity with the ins-and-outs of improvisational comedy creates a space rich with trust and playfulness, where mistakes are celebrated and encouraged. In this safe setting, her clients learn to cultivate presence and commitment, strengthen their instincts, and forge their own path to personal growth.

Esther holds a BFA in Musical Theater from The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she studied with industry-renowned performers and teachers. She is also a graduate of the Groundlings Comedy Theater in Los Angeles, and her one-person-show, “Movies, Musicals, and Me,” has been performed nationally, including a residency at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater in Hell’s Kitchen.

Before coming out to herself as a trans woman, Esther identified as non-binary, equipping her with a powerful awareness of the ways in which communication can be gendered. Given her unique experience, trans and gender non-conforming individuals curious about training are encouraged to reach out to Esther, though she happily works with clients from all backgrounds. With an ebullient and nurturing personality, Esther readily connects with those looking to find and develop their fullest expression of self.

Courtney Armstrong Schedule with Courtney

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Courtney Armstrong

Instructor In Training

Courtney Armstrong (MS, CCC-SLP) is a speech-language pathologist with extensive experience in accent modification training and public speaking. Her technical degree and research background combine with her love of interpersonal connection to provide holistic client-centered therapy. She believes empowering others with efficient communication is fundamental to living an authentic life.

Currently in the Washington D.C. area, she completed her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, as well as two minors in Spanish and Cross-Cultural Communications at Duquesne University. Courtney completed a master’s thesis focused on accent work, which earned her the opportunity to present nationally at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Convention in 2018 and be published internationally in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2020.

Courtney’s clients include those working as international liaisons, au pairs, doctors, teachers, and in the hospitality business. She’s also spent time collaborating closely with organizations that provide English language training to marginalized populations because she is passionate about making sure all individuals have the skills needed to reach their fullest potential.

As a former Miss America Organization titleholder, Courtney knows first hand what it means to present with poise and conviction, no matter the stakes. Her experience doing so enables her to empathize with clients as they develop their own speaking style and confidence.

Alex Quantz Schedule with Alex

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Alex Quantz

Instructor in Training

Alex Quantz is a speech-language pathologist and NCVS-certified vocologist specializing in voice production and effective communication. Her professional areas of expertise include voice, fluency, accent modification, public speaking, and social skills.

Alex applies a multifaceted approach to her work with clients, guided by psychology, evidence-based practices, and reliable strategies for authentic professional communication. She tailors instruction to each client’s personal goals and empowers each individual to express themselves freely. She works towards creating an environment that is both educational and enjoyable.

Alex holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida. Additionally, she holds a certificate in Vocology, a field encompassing vocal science and voice habilitation, from the National Center for Voice and Speech in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She has worked with entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, fitness coaches, business consultants, performers, and employees of companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and T-Mobile.

With her bright and welcoming personality, coupled with her professional expertise, Alex brings joy to her sessions and connects deeply with clients in a fun and personal way.

Carson Davis Schedule with Carson

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Carson Davis

Instructor in Training

Carson Davis is an Instructor-in-Training at New York Speech Coaching who specializes in Public Speaking, Voice Enhancement, and Accent Modification. Carson has a Bachelor’s Degree from New York University in Voice and has performed advanced study in application of voice for both speaking and singing. Additionally, Carson's experience in a corporate setting provides him a uniquely holistic perspective for clients aiming for practical application of speech.

Carson previously served as Head of the Internship Program at New York Speech Coaching, where he provided guidance in speech education. His client base consists of those in fields ranging from healthcare to finance. Carson’s philosophy as a coach is to always respond to a client’s evolving needs and wishes for their own voice. The path to the speaking voice that each client hopes for is varied and carries specific obstacles, and Carson’s number one priority as a coach is to remain attuned to the nuances of each individual in order to help all clients reach their personal speaking goals and potential.

Joti Patel Schedule with Joti

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Joti Patel

Instructor in Training

Joti Patel is an Executive Coach with a multifaceted career in business and the arts with communication as the common thread. Her unique skill set has served as an ideal foundation for providing high-value communication for global organizations across legal, finance, retail, tech, health, and service sectors.

Joti has played a pivotal role within Leadership Management programs for clients such as Bloomberg, Microsoft, PwC, HSBC, DLA Piper, Osborne Clarke, Baker McKenzie, Deloitte, Standard Chartered, UBS, Norton Rose, Sky Media, Nestle, Allen & Overy, IMI, British Gas, Novartis, Hogan Lovell, Korn Ferry, BDO, Dentons, Howard Kennedy, IHG, Equinox, and others.

As a British post-graduate in psychology, Joti has recently moved to New York to continue to pursue her creative endeavors as a trained actress, presenter, and voice artist. Her clients benefit from her own direct experience in front of the camera. Joti has hosted live events and corporate videos, worked as a guest presenter on live TV, and acted in TV, film, and theatre projects. She also works as a professional Matchmaker for a high-end dating agency where she offers “date coaching” to aid clients wanting to develop social skills and the art of conversation.

Through personalized coaching, content, and care, clients can expect an experience aligned to a high-performance culture and business strategy. Joti’s mission is to contribute to the transformational growth of her clients in their businesses, careers, and lives

Jordan Smith

Speech Writing Associate

Jordan Smith is a former speechwriter for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer. He was also a speechwriter for the American Public Transportation Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. He has penned keynote addresses, short talking points and everything in between for elected officials, CEOs, and nonprofit leaders. He is the author of the best-selling Kindle Single, Humanity. His writing has appeared in more than 50 national publications, including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

Justin Stoney

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 sessions. 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.

Diversity Statement

Our client base consists of individuals from various walks of life who seek to love their voice and speech style. Differences in age, race, gender identity, nationality, sexual orientation, physical ability, thinking style, and background provide the rich gift of diversity. We welcome and encourage clients from all backgrounds to participate in our training.

As we continue to evaluate our language in definition and in practice, we recognize instances on our website that include generalities. In the context of sessions, we aim to adapt our curriculum and language to each client's individual circumstances and preferences, and we strive to create an inclusive environment for often sensitive concerns surrounding manifestations of personality and identity.

Further, we unhesitatingly acknowledge that our staff and organization are not yet where we want to be with respect to reflecting the diversity of the world and the clients who may be pursuing our services. As a result, we understand there are steps that we need to take in order to improve as an organization. Such steps that we have begun include: utilizing services to help us engage with and hire instructors of color, developing a volunteer program to provide training to a wider array of students, and beginning collaborations with organizations focused on helping companies like ours address these issues in both our coaching and our culture.

We celebrate our organization as a place of expression, and we are cognizant of the degree to which self-expression takes place in various forms. By continuously implementing initiatives that work towards diversity and inclusion into our platform, we hope to create an environment which embraces all people, and it is enormously important to us that you feel welcome in the process.