For Leaders, Speakers, and Consultants

Voice First World® is
a communication and
executive coaching company

We use actor training tools to coach professionals to speak with
presence without being perfect.

Voice First World® offers virtual and in-person training for conferences, individuals, and teams, customized for your needs.




Influence your audience in poster sessions, oral presentations, and keynote speeches. Uncover and communicate your unique thought leadership.



Create an inclusive environment by exploring personal identity, leadership status, and power dynamics in the workplace.



Develop a foolproof strategy to approach anyone and speak with ease, even if you’re an introvert.


Co-Founders, Jennifer Rettele-Thomas (JRT) and Jennifer Vellenga (Jen V.) are former leaders in higher education.

JRT spent her career in university development, crafting skills in authentic stewardship and efficient operations.

Jen V. developed coaching skills in classrooms and rehearsal halls with Broadway and Hollywood writers, directors, and actors. She was a professor of theatre for over 20 years.

Jen V. & JRT are co-hosts of the Speak with Presence™ podcast, where perfection is overrated, leaders listen, and we all speak up to influence change in the workplace.


Enthusiastic Participation

“At I2MTC 2023, held in Kuala Lumpur, the co-founders of Voice First World provided an interactive workshop on authentic communication that included aspects of diversity-and-inclusion strategies. When the presenters asked if anyone wanted to try their communication framework, much to everyone’s surprise, one of the young professionals ran to the stage, and perfectly incorporated the framework into an impromptu, five-minute presentation of her theoretical and experimental work in the field of instrumentation and measurement! The audience cheered her wildly, especially because we all completely understood the critical aspects of her work, even if it wasn’t in any of our direct experiences. The ability to elicit this amazing participation was truly incredible and indicative of the power of the Voice First World framework. Any conference would benefit enormously from this type of presentation and workshop.”


Ruth Dyer
Past President,
IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society;
Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Emerita and Professor Emerita of Electrical
and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University

Personalized, Relevant Training

“As a regular attendee of a technical engineering conference, I was curious to see how Voice First World would connect to not just a room full of engineers, but a room full of international engineers! I was not disappointed! This conference has supported, for many years now, activities and sessions geared towards diversity, equity, and inclusion, but the session hosted by Voice First World was engaging and interactive in a way that I had not yet experienced. I saw men and women attendees of different ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, and nationalities connecting and engaging together with the common goal of growing their communication skills. The experience was emotionally uplifting to me as a woman, and encouraging to me as a member of an international and diverse group of people. I highly recommend Voice First World to any group, technical or otherwise, who wishes to provide professional outreach and training in such a way as to reach a wide audience.”


Kristen M. Donnell
Woodard Associate Professor
of Excellence
Microwave Sensing
(µSense) Laboratory
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology

Special Ability to Connect

“Jen V. hosted an interactive workshop during the I2MTC2023 conference. Even without scientific background, Jen managed to connect with the participants (who were engineers). She has a special ability to connect with all people. The workshop was about diversity and inclusion, and how to communicate. The participants felt safe in the environment she formed during the workshop. Even beyond that, the participants (including me) kept approaching her and connecting with her. She is confident and people trust her.”


Amir L. Rifi
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Radiotherapy/TROP
Vrije Universiteit Brussels