Biography

Lauren Leonard

Head of Florida Speech Coaching

Lauren Leonard is regarded as one of Florida's premiere public speaking coaches and vocal professionals. After completing her training at New York Speech Coaching, she taught with the company in New York City before being selected to head the organization's branch in South Florida. She specializes in training corporate clients who seek to liven up their presentations and become more comfortable with public speaking.

By blending her background in theatre with her considerable corporate exposure, she has developed a style that enables clients to achieve dramatic and practical results. Additionally, Lauren works with people from all walks of life who wish to enhance the quality of their speaking voice and those who seek accent reduction. Lauren frequently serves as a consultant for companies seeking to enhance their employees' comfort with speech and presentation skills - most recently AT&T hired her for their corporate training program.

For the past several years, Lauren has worked as a professional spokesmodel for Fortune 100 companies internationally, and has appeared in numerous web videos, commercials, and industrials. She initially began her speech studies at Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, before continuing her education at Elon University, where she graduated with a BFA in music theatre. After that, she balanced teaching and spokesmodeling, and worked across the country before landing in New York City, where she studied with Justin Stoney - founder of New York Speech Coaching, and completed teacher training with John West, the company's lead instructor.

In addition to teaching, Lauren continues to work as a musical theatre actress, appearing at such esteemed theatres as The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, North Carolina Theatre. Lauren has also served as a teaching assistant at the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Intensive. Lauren merges the arts and business together to help people communicate more confidently and competently.

John West

Head of New York Speech Coaching

John West has cultivated a reputation as one of New York City's most versatile speech coaches. He specializes in accent reduction, enhancement of the speaking voice, executive preparation for public speaking, and dialect coaching.

John's diverse list of clients includes CEOs, business executives, hedge fund managers, Miss America contestants, Broadway actors, singers, authors, coaches, judges, lawyers, and more. John initially explored his love for voice by spending four years in Nashville studying with Brett Manning, founder of “Singing Success." He attended the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts with a focus on speech in Shakespeare. He graduated summa cum laude from Northern Kentucky University, where he earned a BFA in performance. During this time, John studied speech extensively with Sandra Forman, renowned author of Your Voice and Articulation and Public Speaking: Today and Tomorrow. He also honed his skills in IPA and dialects under the guidance of top Cincinnati dialect coach Michael King. After immersing himself in speech and theatre for a term in London, he moved to New York, where he has studied voice extensively with Justin Stoney and Aaron Hagan.

John has been a dialect coach for several shows, including The Secret Garden, Over the River & Through the Woods, Brigadoon, and The Imaginary Invalid. He serves on the faculty of New York’s prestigious Open Jar Institute, and has been a featured speaker at The International Thespian Society Festival. He has narrated over 20 productions and frequently emcees across the country. John especially enjoys holding workshops and master classes throughout the year for corporate events on speech enhancement. He also conducts workshops at high schools and colleges across the United States and Canada on voice for the actor and audition technique. Additionally, John is a member of and has spoken at meetings of American MENSA.

In addition to teaching, John continues to work as an actor and singer, and is currently appearing in Theatre Row's production of NEWSical, ("Fast, funny, and irreverent! NEWSical makes it possible to get high on hilarity!" -NY Times) and has appeared in leading roles on Broadway national tours (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers), as well as numerous regional productions, commercials, and voiceovers for radio and television.

Justin Stoney

Founder and President of New York Speech Coaching and New York Vocal Coaching, Inc.

Justin Stoney is one of New York’s leading voice technicians, voice teachers, and vocal coaches. Justin was inspired to begin teaching speech after receiving a high volume of requests for this in his work as a voice teacher. As a speech instructor, Justin has coached clients with a wide variety of accents and backgrounds. Justin has also worked with actors to improve their speech for stage and voice-overs. Finally, Justin’s public speaking clients represent some of New York’s finest companies and organizations. Justin has also spoken and performed in New York and all over the United States. He has spoken alongside Nobel Peace Prize Winners and was also the commencement speaker at the University of Michigan.

As a voice instructor, Justin has also had the privilege of working with vocalists from over 20 countries that range from Billboard chart toppers to Broadway stars to beginning vocal students. Justin’s clients have had international radio airplay and have appeared in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including AIDA, ADDAMS FAMILY, ALTAR BOYZ, BILLY ELLIOT, BYE BYE BIRDIE, A CHORUS LINE, CHICAGO, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, A CLASS ACT, THE COLOR PURPLE, GREASE, GREY GARDENS, HAIR, HAIRSPRAY, IN THE HEIGHTS, JERSEY BOYS, KISS ME KATE, LEGALLY BLONDE, LES MISERABLES, THE LION KING, MAMMA MIA, MARY POPPINS, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, SPRING AWAKENING, SOUTH PACIFIC, SWEET CHARITY, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, WEST SIDE STORY, WHITE CHRISTMAS, WICKED, WOMEN ON THE VERGE, WONDERFUL TOWN to name a few. He has not only coached many performers on auditions for their first Broadway roles, but has also helped many performers to receive their first callbacks, get cast in their first show, receive their Equity card, solidify representation with major talent agents, get into top music and theatre schools and universities, and work at almost every major regional theatre in the country. Aside from Broadway and Off-Broadway work, Justin’s clients have also appeared at Lincoln Center, New York City Opera, London’s West End, and have begun careers in the recording industry.

Justin holds a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from the University of Michigan. He has also studied classical vocal technique with veterans of the Metropolitan Opera, musical theatre vocal technique with veterans of Broadway, and contemporary vocal technique with some of the world’s top pop/rock/R&B instructors. Also, Justin mentored as a voice technician and teacher under some of world’s finest instructors including David Jones and Aaron Hagan. Justin also holds a BA in English. Aside from his university training in Speech, English Language & Literature, and Theatre, Justin has studied with some of New York’s leading speech and voice over instructors.

Justin speech services include accent reduction, speech for actors, and public speaking. For information on singing training, please visit www.NewYorkVocalCoaching.com. New York Speech Coaching is located conveniently on the Upper West Side at 87th Street. It’s an easy trip on the B, C, or 1 Trains and is nearby to Central Park and Riverside Park

New York Speech Coaching Union and Organization Affiliations

Screen Actor's Guild AFTRA Equity Actors Association NATS VASTA The Voice Foundation