Mariana Atencio is a motivational speaker, Peabody award–winning journalist, author and influencer, included in AdWeek’s “Young Influentials”, as well as the co-founder of Go Like, a multimedia production company.
Mariana Atencio is a Peabody award-winning journalist, speaker, and author who has traveled around the world to help us discover & celebrate what makes each of us unique. As the only Latina national correspondent on NBC News, she’s become a champion for diversity, inclusion and authentic storytelling both on and off screen. Mariana’s TEDx Talk – What makes you special? – is one of the most viewed TEDx Talks online with more than 10 million views translated into 10 languages thus far.
After fleeing violence and oppression in her native Venezuela, Mariana came to the United States as an immigrant on a scholarship to study journalism at Columbia University. Since then, she’s honored her immigrant roots by seeking to build bridges of understanding among people from all walks of life.
For a decade, Mariana worked as a TV anchor/reporter on national networks like NBC and Univision covering some of the most important stories of our time in both Spanish and English. Her work has been honored with a Peabody, multiple Emmy Nominations, a Gracie Award, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Presidential Award and Columbia University’s First Decade Award.
Mariana has been named a “breaking news sensation”, top 15 young Latinas in American newsrooms and 40 under 40 Latinos in American Politics. She’s interviewed people like Pope Francis, Deepak Chopra, Joe Biden, Tyler Perry and Eva Longoria.
Pursuing her mission for more diverse storytelling, in 2018, she co-founded GoLike, a multimedia production company dedicated to creating inspirational content.
In 2019, Harper Collins published Mariana’s first book Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, in English and Spanish. Part self-help and part autobiography, it’s a roadmap into what makes each of us special and the ways in which we can become a force for good in a broken world. On the week of its release her book was #1 on Amazon’s Best Seller list for Hispanic & Latino Biographies and Christian Social Issues; and was listed on Apple Books June “must listens” list and Audible’s editors pick.
These days, Mariana continues to create viral content to inspire her community of almost 400,000 on Instagram, Facebook and twitter. She’s partnered with Spotify, Microsoft, Bacardi, LinkedIn and the American Library Association. Mariana recently hosted the Citi Private Bank annual event and keynoted the United Nation’s “Girl Up” Leadership Summit, inspiring everyday people to find their spark. Her mission is to travel around the world taking her message of inclusiveness and celebrating what makes everyone special.
HOW TO HARNESS RESILIENCE TO EMPOWER YOUR TEAM AND ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
In the wake of Covid-19, we have all -whether we wanted it or not- been thrust into a transformation. Being nimble, adapting, reinventing ourselves have been become key to our survival. This isn’t entirely new to Mariana. As a breaking news journalist, she has been covering natural disasters, protests and mass shootings for over a decade. Mariana has been meeting people on what is probably the worst day of their lives. Yet, they’ve shown her incredible kindness, forgiveness and resilience. In this very pressing talk, Mariana reveals what she has learned through these interactions and shares applicable takeaways for audiences to -re-act- to the current changes, to reclaim our power, lessen the fear of failure and to reinvent ourselves.
DIVERSITY, INCLUSION AND BELONGING
One of the top challenges for executives nowadays is not only ensuring employee diversity and inclusion but also cultivating a sense of belonging. Employees who feel connected and valued are more expressive and liberal with their ideas. This sense of belonging fosters creativity; providing an environment where employees feel safe taking risks.
How does an organization successfully diversify its workforce? How can they reach underrepresented communities? As the only Latina National correspondent on NBC news, Mariana will share insights for executives on how to attract this diverse talent in the 21st century. She will share tools to help cultivate belonging – championing and celebrating workforce cultures and perspectives. As Mariana explained in her viral Ted Talk “What Makes You Special?”, we think that belonging should happen instinctively, but it takes work. Through exercises like “Your Top 3s”, which Mariana has engaged during global conferences like Spotify Annual Conference and United Nations Girl Up Summit, Mariana will guide attendees on how to discover their own magic in order to recognize and embrace it within their workforce talent.
– How to hire diverse talent where they are;
– How to integrate talent into the company culture;
– Practical techniques to make your employees feel like they belong in the workplace
“Your Top 3s” – Mariana asks attendees to name the top 3 unique traits they see in themselves. After this exercise, attendees will have a better idea of what they bring to the table and they will be encouraged to share it with others towards the end of the exercise to build community and belonging. Can only be done with “Perfectly You” cards which MA can provide the client to print.
Human beings innately want to blend in – think back to being a child on a playground. Over time, we repeatedly minimize the traits that make us special until we can even lose our sense of self. Through her powerful speech on authenticity, Mariana will share how minimizing the traits that made her special prevented her from standing out in the marketplace. It wasn’t until she began to recognize and celebrate those differences, life began to shift. Mariana will teach attendees to flip the script and share the power that authenticity holds for an employee, inevitably strengthening teams and impacting the world. Mariana will also share insights of tapping into your authenticity in era of filters and social media.
– Understanding the power of authenticity;
– Discovering the “secret sauce” behind every attendee;
– Connecting the dots – why being authentic makes your team better and its impact on the world
THE POWER OF STORY TELLING FOR PEOPLE AND BRANDS
After a 10-year career navigating traditional television and social media, having been awarded a Peabody for her work in journalism, Mariana knows how to tell an authentic story – one that will build bridges and create change. In this talk, Mariana will demonstrate how the same principles of authentic storytelling on television can be applied by brands to engage customers and employees alike.
For better or worse, an authentic story is what sticks. It is essential to our collective history. Mariana will teach the audience how the power of a message, spoken, written, recorded, will be ever present in our lives. Discover what kind of a lasting message YOU want to leave behind and how to make it stick!
YOUR SPECIAL SAUCE - TEAMWORK
The key to being a successful team member starts with understanding that belonging takes work. In this talk, Mariana focuses on how failing as a team and feeling like a kid is important to fueling innovation as a team.
“As Seen on TV”. Mariana brings teams of 2 people on to the stage and asks them to sell items (provided by Mariana) to the audience, in an “As Seen on TV” style. The twist? The contestants have to work in teams and sell items for something else than what they are regularly used for. The audience will discover teamwork techniques on the spot that will keep them entertained with practical takeaways.
MILLENNIALS AND GEN Zs
In this talk, Mariana will guide attendees as to what millennials and Gen Z’s expect from the workplace, what motivates them and how they should be catered to. As a millennial herself, who regularly connects to both generations on her social media platforms, Mariana will also share her insight into what these generations buy, why they buy it and the values they adhere to.
In this inspirational talk, Mariana shares the keys to tapping into your true power, which can be achieved by empowering others. She will specifically focus on female empowerment, empowering young girls and leading by example. Many people subscribe to the roles that are expected of them. As a result, people and especially women are often feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Mariana will give you the tools to prioritize and find a balance in your life, rather than to strive for perfection. Through dancing and music, in this very dynamic session, you will not only leave energized and enlightened but also empowered to take on whatever your day brings.
IMMIGRATION AND UNITY
Mariana left her native Venezuela fleeing violence and oppression at age 24 and came to the United States as an immigrant. That meant resetting her life and rethinking who she was, what she “brought to the table” and how she could contribute. In this time of division, where anti-immigration is the order of the day, Mariana talks about the contribution that a diverse community can make to a company and also the world. She talks about how to proudly celebrate what makes everyone special, our immigrant roots and solutions as to how companies can attract immigrant talent and make them feel like they belong. Through her very powerful first-hand account, Mariana will make the audience laugh and cry and discover how we can all become more united in companies, departments and around the world.
Mariana provided some wonderful lessons and insights into her journey and how each of us can celebrate and share what makes us different. It was a fantastic opportunity for our employees to be inspired and to learn more.
Director, Global Executive & Employee Communications, Microsoft
Mariana was powerful on stage, engaging, thought provoking and the perfect speaker for our flagship global annual conference held in Miami. She was such a pleasure to work with that she ended up interviewing and moderating two very critical panels for the agenda. Mariana’s experience and professionalism will make any company that chooses to work with her look great.
Director, Marketing & Communications Head, Citi Private Bank
It was a pleasure working with Mrs. Mariana Atencio and her Team during Bacardi’s Spirit Forward event. Not only was she highly engaged and accessible from the very beginning of the planning process, but flexible and open to ensure that her speech flowed well with the Summit’s overarching theme. She was inspirational, motivational and real, and we received wonderful feedback from the attendees. We would be happy to work with her again.
Sr. Brand Manager, Bacardi USA, Inc.
Mariana inspires the next generation of women to carve their own path and dare to be themselves.
Eva Longoria Bastón, Actress, Philanthropist & Business Woman
The next-gen voice - breaking all barriers.
Jorge Ramos, Award-Winning Journalist