Although glass artistry, motivational writing and public speaking are three distinct areas of expertise, for Martiña Reyes, they share a common theme: They all communicate visual stories, be it through the conventional sense with a physical piece of art, or by conjuring imagery in the audience’s mind with words. Reyes, DTM, credits her passion for this specific type of communication as her driving force.
A member of two clubs in Puerto Rico, Elite Advanced Speakers and Executive Leaders, Reyes runs Martiña Reyes NLP International©, helping clients—primarily millennials, athletes, IT engineers and businesswomen—improve their visual, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Her techniques include neuro-linguistic programming, optical emotion decoding, hypnotherapy and public speaking mentoring. Reyes has also penned the book Conquista Tu Grandeza (Conquer Your Greatness), which aims to help readers overcome challenges and find their voice.
Please describe your career path.
Visual communication and art have always been important in my life. In the 1990s, I was enjoying a successful career as a glass artist, but after 20 years in the field, my respiratory health started to decline and doctors said it was too dangerous to continue exposing my lungs to glass pigment chemicals. Despite loving my career, I knew I had to change professions. I started thinking about what I was most passionate about: creating visual stories and impacting people’s emotions. So I explored new things and became interested in public speaking. I attended seminars, read books, found a mentor and started working on the business aspect of communication. This route ultimately led to Toastmasters.
In 2003, my fellow artists encouraged me to write a book, because I was always sharing my stories and mentoring them on how to improve their visual message and sell their art.
But I suffered from dysgraphia and dyslexia, learning disabilities that made it challenging to write a book. But the idea stuck with me for several years until I finally enrolled in a master’s degree program in creative writing from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón.
I discovered how to rewire and train my brain to express in writing what I could easily convey in my conversations. In 2010, after a year as a Toastmaster, writing and practicing my speeches, my confidence grew and I decided to start writing my first book, Conquista Tu Grandeza. It teaches readers the art of finding their own voice of greatness.
Finally, my career as a mentor blossomed when I had the opportunity to mentor Stephanie Del Valle, Miss World 2016 from Puerto Rico.
Tell us more about that.
I’ve worked with clients before on personal transformation and communication skills, but Stephanie was a revelation for me.
When I met her, I saw a humble, intelligent and poised 19-year-old woman determined to achieve her goal. I recognized that she was a natural motivator, so before mentoring her on communication skills, I told her my intention was to teach her skills that a true leader should master. She accepted the challenge with greatness.
My first strategy was boosting her confidence using a powerful formula I learned in Toastmasters: mentoring + evaluation + recognition= success. Over time I helped her create a new awareness for her mission in life and design a powerful message. By reprogramming her body language, tone of voice, vocabulary, camera skills and emotional well-being and upgrading her confidence on the stage, she conquered her greatness!
On December 18, 2016, she was crowned the second-ever Puerto Rican Miss World!
What do you mean by “a WE is more powerful than a ME”?
“WE” is about humanity, compassion, collaboration, transparency, and conquests that can inspire others. It’s the root of all relationships. We don’t get ahead by diminishing each other; we get ahead by helping each other and learning from one another. The goal of a “WE” is to make a better version of oneself.
Mariam Jehangir is the editorial assistant for Toastmaster magazine.