Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

No One Speaks for Me!: Accessibility Must Include Communication Access

Filed under: Living with a disability — by Glenda at 5:07 pm on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Even doctors have dismissed my ability to communicate. One specialist went as far as to tell me that he would ask me questions, but he expected my husband Darrell to respond because “it would be faster.” I was shocked! No one speaks for me on something as important as my health simply because it is more convenient for them.

I shared this story during last week’s CBC Radio interview, in which Communication Disabilities Access Canada’s Executive Director Barbara Collier and I, in my role as CDAC’s Social Media Coordinator, briefly discussed communication access for individuals with speech and language disabilities.

Here’s the interview audio as a YouTube video – a clever way to have the audio transcribed, even if it it isn’t quite perfect.

For more CBC coverage: Speech and language disabilities ‘need more support’ in British Columbia

Many resources for individuals with speech and language disabilities and on how to best serve us are available from CDAC’s project Communication Access Now.

Donning my Social Media Coordinator hat for a moment, I invite you to Like CDAC on Facebook and to follow @CommAccessNow on Twitter. That is where I am spending a fair bit of time these days.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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Dreams Do Come True with the Red Carpet and Tassels, After Doing the Yucky Parts

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 7:04 pm on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

“Do whatever it takes
to make your dream come true!“

Glenda receiving her university degree

On New Year’s Day, 1988, I left home for Simon Fraser University. On a beautiful day in June, 1995, I received my Bachelor of Arts. Finally.

The seven years in between those two memorable end points were challenging and, oftentimes, lonely. It meant most evenings and weekends alone, studying and writing papers that only one person – the Teaching Assistant – would ever read. What was the point of all that work and consternation? I often – at least  once per semester – felt like giving up and walking away.

I have witnessed many dreams die at this point, when the work gets yucky and tough. People hit a bump in the road, a barrier, something they don’t know how to do or would rather not do and they forfeit their dream for seemingly easier or quicker rewarding pastures.

Just last week, I experienced that feeling again myself. I was attempting to write my positioning statement: the one sentence that defines my uniqueness as a speaker. Playing with words, I was frustrated; like I was stringing together clichés. No combination of words was quite right. I began questioning what I am even trying to do and what message I am aiming to deliver. Was my dream of being a well-known motivational speaker a mere fantasy? Had I misread all of the signs?

At this point, I cannot say my positioning statement has since come to me in a thunder bolt of genius. That has still yet to happen. However, I am fortunately surrounded by individuals with much expertise in the field who are standing by, willing to provide feedback on draft statements. The key is that I must do the tough, yucky work first in order to have something upon which they can provide feedback.

Even though I do not yet have my amazing positioning statement in hand, I do know – with absolute certainty – that one difficult-to-write sentence is not going to kill my dream. I have come too far and put in way too much work to not follow through and make my dream come true.

Please excuse me. I have some work to do before I can get to the red-carpet-and-tassel part of my dream.

Is there something you need to do before your dream comes true? You’ve got this!

(Read about those seven years and much in my autobiography I’ll Do It Myself.)

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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Go Beyond: Stare Your Fear in the Face and Boldly Go for It!

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 7:00 am on Monday, February 2, 2015

Glenda Watson Hyatt

In September, I had the pleasure of attending InBound 2014 in Boston to deliver a 12-minute Bold Talk, which is very similar in format to a TED Talk.

With great anticipation, I am excited to now share the video of my Bold Talk "Go Beyond: Stare Your Fear in the Face and Boldly Go for It!" (Transcript is available here.)

And my accompanying PowerPoint slides:

If you enjoyed my Bold Talk, please visit my speaker site for more info on having me speak at your next  event.

And, remember: Magic happens when you step beyond your comfort zone. Be bold!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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Go Beyond Your Fear and Discover the Magic

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 9:53 pm on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Charlie GilkeyEvery so often, if you are fortunate, someone will challenge you to go beyond your comfort zone and to try something new.

My friend Charlie Gilkey was recently that someone for me.

He invited me to be a guest on his not-yet-launched podcast Creative Giants Show. Charlie describes Creative Giants as “naturally compassionate, creative people who have the vision to see how the world might be, the courage to take action, and the capability to actually change the world.”

I was honoured and humbled to be included with the likes of Pam Slim, Seth Godin, Mark Silver and Jonathan Fields. All people I look up to; way up to.

Once I got beyond the star factor, my thought was “Sure, no problem, I have the technology to do this.” I’d write my responses, convert the text to speech and then save as audio files to play during the interview. Like I have done a few other times before. No problem, I’ve got this.

Except…Charlie does not interview from a set of questions. His show is not an interview, but rather a conversation with twists and turns, and therein lies the magic.

No scripted questions meant no prepared answers, which meant I’d be typing and “speaking text” live during the Skype call. Technologically possible (after some testing), but one thing you might not yet know about me is: I don’t feel confident thinking on my feet (or on my butt, as the case may be). Chatting is one thing, but conversing when I am expected to have something profound or wise to share, while it is being recorded. Nah uh, that isn’t me. But…declining the opportunity would not have been my style, either.

Charlie and I decided to give it a shot with the agreement that, if the conversation and audio were crap, we would try again or scrap the idea.

Except for a few typos, which translated into a few misspoken words on my part, the conversation went well. And, considering the mash up of technology, is actually pretty frickin’ awesome!

Click play to have a listen:

Be sure to check out Charlie’s show notes and to listen other episodes.

Thank you, Charlie, for the great conversation and for enabling me to add another check mark in the “can do” column of Life

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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My Most Cherished 2014 Christmas Gift: A Basketful of Rocks and a Writing Challenge

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 7:49 pm on Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! May your 2015 be filled with well-being, health and happiness.

I’d like to take a moment to share a Christmas gift that I received from Mom; a gift that I already know I will cherish throughout the years to come.

The gift: a basket filled with rocks. Yes, rocks! Each was individually wrapped in a paper towel, love and memories.

Small wicker basket filled with rocks

In addition to each rock being uniquely shaped and beautifully polished, each one is embossed in gold lettering. One word per rock.

Believe.

Celebrate.

Joy.

Goals.

Success.

Dream.

Hope.

Remember.

Inspire.

Spirit.

When I asked Mom why she chose the words she did for me, she responded, “Oh, I could go on about each one. You reflect about each. Maybe it’ll be a set of blog posts or something.”

I have been handed a writing challenge for 2015. Thank you, Mom. Challenge accepted; I am looking forward to it.

If you could choose 10 words for a loved one, which rocks would you give? Share in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.

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