How to Speak with Presence

Welcome to Voice First World!


Not-So-Artsy Storytelling

Leading with stories and empathy to motivate teams


No Fear Executive Presence

Communicate with clarity on video, audio, and in person to influence change in the workplace


Your Identity + Me

Embrace differences (without over-sharing) through authentic engagement

For Teams


Team training on authentic storytelling and executive presence.

Outcome: Develop stronger internal and external relationships

with clients, customers, and donors.

  • One 30 minute planning session for team leader

  • Three 60 minute training sessions for up to 5 team members

  • Training sessions scheduled bi-weekly (6 weeks)

For Leaders


Private coaching for motivated leaders on authentic storytelling and executive presence.

Outcome: Deliver the story missing from your leadership messaging with authentic voice so you can make clear decisions and take big risks

  • Bi-weekly 1:1 coaching with Jen V. (2 months)

  • Weekly group coaching (6 months)

  • Recorded Home Study modules

  • Additional practice and support through the Voxer app

Your first 1:1 session made me more of "me" than slews of coaching I've had before.

- Ushi P., Brand Strategist and Executive Coach, Austin, TX

Hi there! I'm

Jennifer Vellenga.

I'm the guide, your director in the business of speaking with presence. Call me Jen V.

I've coached actors, leaders, and speakers to find their authentic voices for 25 years. I've helped them build confidence, craft a clear story, and influence change in their lives and the lives of others.

As a professor, stage director, and leader in higher education, I used my voice. When I didn't, I Iearned valuable lessons that I bring to Voice First World.

From East to West Coast, from China to Norway, and Finland to Australia, I've worked on new plays, crafting stories with writers, actors, and designers. Throughout my career, I've keenly observed the communication skills of leaders.

I developed my techniques in rehearsal rooms with Broadway and Hollywood writers, directors, and actors. I've taught Emmy, Tony, and Grammy nominees and winners.

Hello, I'm

Jennifer Rettele Thomas.

I'm the operator, the mover and shaker in this business of using your voice.

I served as an associate vice president of a university foundation for 15 years. While visiting corporations across the U.S., I got an education in leadership and gender dynamics. I always used my voice. Sometimes it backfired, but I learned, and it all made Voice First World possible.

I love operations and "efficient" is my middle name. (Not really. It's Rettele, pronounced RET-lee, but everyone calls me JRT).

When I hired Jen V. to write scripts and coach speakers for the development campaigns I led, our working relationship constantly surprised observers. Turns out, having fun and being efficient is a rare combination in the workplace. We think you can have both!

As a Kansas native, I feel most powerful when I am wearing boots, driving a tractor, and tending the earth. But I am just as comfortable in a board room, sitting at the head of the table, wearing high heels!

Jen and I are complete opposites. We are not perfect, but our differences make us unique in our communication training.

How To Speak with Presence (without being perfect)

Get instant access to 3 free videos!

Be the Change.

Leadership is all about managing change

Managing change requires clear communication

Communication is clear when leaders speak with presence

When you speak with presence, you influence change in others. And change is inevitable.

We launched Voice First World in 2021 to help women like you lead confidently, to speak with presence, and influence change in the workplace.

Helping YOU Succeed.

How would it feel to speak up easily, as a confident leader in your organization?

How would your own company grow if you showed up consistently, with clarity on audio and video?

How could the world change if you were bold enough to speak with presence, to lead with influence?

We are here for you right now. Click the button below to get started on our free training.

Your Time Is Now.

Jen V. is the chief coach and the creative mind behind Voice First World. JRT is the chief motivator and the brilliance behind operations.

Today, we have the honor of working with an amazing community of women who use their voices to influence change.

And we want the same for you...

What would your life look like if you spoke up as the powerful leader you have inside you...

Imagine if you finally showed up as the face of your company on audio and video...

What if you were able to speak confidently, in any environment...

We are here for you right now. Click the button below to get started.

Meet The Team

Jennifer Rettele-Thomas

Operations and Sales

As the co-founder of Voice First World, I connect clients to the resources they need to find their physical voices, communicate authentically, and reach their desired audience with confidence.

21st century employees crave workplace opportunities to support career advancement. With more than twenty years of experience in university development, donor relations, and leadership, I advocate for employer sponsored professional development and radical stewardship of employees and clients.

Jen Vellenga

Coaching and Creative

As the co-founder of Voice First World, I help leaders speak with courage, clarity, and presence so they can influence positive change in the workplace. I love coaching clients to find their most powerful stories and communicate authentically to reach their desired audience with confidence. My specialty is working with women (including non-binary) and serving underrepresented voices to develop their everyday communications.

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