Laura Purcell Verdun, M.A., CCC/SLP


Photo of LauraMs. Verdun specializes in the refinement of voice, speech, communication and presentation skills for the professional. With a practical and actionable approach, she guides groups and individual clients (e.g., graduate and medical students, analysts, attorneys, scientists, physicians, voice-over, radio and on-air talent, politicians, executives, etc.) to modify voice, speech, communication and presentation performance when those skills are not meeting daily demands, or when they need to bring their skills to the next level. She recently returned to the Smithsonian Associates in 2022 for her third engagement, Cultivate Your Speaking Voice. She focuses training efforts on identifying limitations in or barriers to preferred voice, speech, communication and public speaking performance. She implements targeted techniques to optimize effectiveness and impact; establish a routine of daily practice and ongoing self-assessment. With an aim towards delivering with purpose, confidence and impact.

Ms. Verdun has practiced as a Speech-Language Pathologist for more than 30 years in the clinical care of voice, airway, motor speech and swallowing disorders. Her background in clinical care and research provides her a unique and comprehensive perspective. She presents locally, regionally and nationally; and has published on medical speech pathology topics including vocal fold paralysis, voice therapy, and speech and swallowing disorders in neurodegenerative disease and head & neck cancer.

Ms. Verdun presently serves as a member of the ASHA Council for Clinical Certification, and the Business & Practice Management/SLP topic committee for ASHA 2023.  She served as a panelist for the 2023 ASHA SLP Curriculum and Practice Analysis. She was honored to serve as a volunteer leader as the ASHA 2021 Convention Co-Chair/SLP in Washington DC, #RisingUnited. Prior ASHA Convention Program Committee contributions include Topic Co-Chair/SLP for Health Literacy & Communication, and Topic Chair for the Voice & Voice Disorders. She completed two 4-year terms appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to the Department of Health Professions Board of Health Professions, and the Board of Audiology & Speech Pathology. She serves as a medical representative to the Dysphonia International Northern Virginia and Washington DC Metro support groups. She is a member of the Voice Foundation, Dysphagia Research Society, American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, International Parkinson & Movement Disorder Society, Speech & Hearing Association of Virginia, and the DC Speech & Hearing Association. To promote networking and continuing education opportunities for her colleagues, she formed the DC Metro Voice & Laryngeal Disorders Study Group in 2014. She a is board member of the Potomac Valley Bernese Mountain Dog Club, hosts the annual Fall and Spring Dog Walks, and established a seasonal monthly Meet-up program for Berner families.

Ms. Verdun received her B.S. in Communication Disorders and M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from Saint Louis University. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia.  She completed her Clinical Fellowship with the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, where she was promoted to Assistant Professor.  She completed an 18-month tour as a Research Speech Pathologist with the Laryngeal & Speech Section of the NIH – NIDCD/NINDS, investigating central and peripheral laryngeal motor and sensory control; and the impact of nerve stimulation on vocal nerve recovery. She developed a clinical speech pathology program for Otolaryngology Associates, PC.  Additional clinical experience includes the NIH - Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, and Inova Fairfax Hospital. She is a Lecturer at GWU teaching the graduate class on Professional & Clinical Issues in Speech & Hearing. She was a Visiting Lecturer with Hampton University contributing to the graduate course on Voice Disorders. She and an Adjunct Professor with Gallaudet University, teaching the graduate course on voice and voice disorders. She joined Voicetrainer, LLC as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Communication Coach in 2013 and assumed ownership in December 2017.