Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Chowing Down with Glenda

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 6:01 pm on Sunday, June 26, 2011

If I ever pass through this World again, I am coming back as a foodie — one who handles a knife and a fork with surgical precision to saviour each delicate morsel.

Much of our culture involves gathering with friends and acquaintances to enjoy a meal together. Depending upon the degree of friendship, this isn’t an enjoyable, relaxing activity for me. I am extremely self-conscious about how I eat. I am not graceful, and, sometimes, I am messy. I know that.

Over the years I have discovered some foods that are relatively Glenda-friendly: forkable pasta, like tortellini, penne and ravoli, are great; fish is also good because it breaks apart without needing a knife. Soups, forget it. Rice is easy to choke on, which tends to freak out people. Greek salads are fairly easy; green salads not so much.

In the past I was quite skillful at opting out of such gatherings, unless with close friends. More recently I have been trying to force myself out of that pattern, no matter how uncomfortable.

While in Austin earlier this year, a group of friends headed to a nearby burger joint. The whole way there I was dreading the meal. How was I going to manage a slippery, sloppy, overstuffed burger? (Not the kind in a tinfoil wrapper from the food court.) I was never relieved to find Grilled Cheese Sandwich on the menu!

Thank goodness iced coffees are all the rage right now; they are drinkable through straws without risk of burning my mouth. It makes “going for coffee” a nice starting point when getting together with new friends.

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Now Where is Glenda Off To?

Filed under: Work — by at 3:09 pm on Sunday, June 19, 2011

For a change of scenery, I am writing this post from the noisy plane en route to Toronto – my first trip “back east”. This trip is not to attend a conference for a change, but rather to conduct an on-site web accessibility review for a client, which is what I do in my day job.

For the last thirteen years, since embarking on this self-employed, solopreneur journey, I have worked from the comforts of home; oftentimes, without meeting my clients face-to-face. Working in a cubicle for nearly two weeks will definitely be a change of pace – one I’m viewing as an opportunity to view life from the other side of the employment fence.

Having other people within sight will be a welcomed departure from the solo aspect of solopreneurship. The noise and other distractions of cubicle-dwelling, on the other hand, will probably test my ability to focus and concentrate. And, I’m not sure what I’ll without my CFO (Chief Feline Officer) holding down my papers and mooching for treats. But, the toughest part, at least for the first few days, may prove to be getting up at 6am eastern time – 3am my body time.

By the time I fly home on the 30th, I will have a better idea whether I am missing out on much, except for a regular paycheque, by taking the road less travelled.

Update: Yesterday’s flight was uneventful. My scooter arrived in one piece, although I had wait an hour for it to arrive in the baggage area (read: another hour without access to a washroom). I caught a wheelchair accessible taxi without a lengthy wait. The hotel room is adequately accessible (for me). And I’ve scoped out the route to the office. I am on a roll…!

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What is Your Life’s Stanley Cup?

Filed under: Motivation — by at 10:30 pm on Thursday, June 9, 2011

All year you have been working hard on a major project. You have been focused, driven and passionate. You have come back after setbacks, and have found creative solutions to imposing barriers.

You have received amazing support from all of those around you.

You can nearly taste your just reward.

With the finish line in sight, you stumble and fall. While down you realize how completely drained and exhausted you are. You pause for a moment and think, “I don’t have any more left. I have given it my all, I have nothing more to give.”

What do you do?

Do you walk away, saying you did you best? That you will try again another time? 

Do you you give into the those naysayers who said that you wouldn’t finish? That you wouldn’t go all of the way?

Do you listen to the nagging little voice that kept saying you wouldn’t make it?


Do you pick yourself up and dig deeper than you have ever dug before?

Do you find from somewhere, anywhere, some way, any way, to do whatever you need to do?

Do you reach that finish line with your head held high and claim your just reward?

What is your Stanley Cup in your life?

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How to Give the Wisdom Whisperer a Voice

Filed under: Living with a disability — by at 7:19 pm on Friday, June 3, 2011

Disability – temporary or permanent – can befall anyone at any time. Successful Online Business Conference (SOBCon) co-founder Liz Strauss discovered this at the most inopportune time.

She lost her voice hours before giving her closing keynote at the sold out event. She tried everything; even mainlining tea laced with honey did nothing.

Liz Strauss standing on the back of Glenda Watson Hyatt's scooter

I now more fully understand her tweet to me – earlier that day -that she was sad that I was not there.

Had I known her circumstances, I would have gladly offered a few suggestions based on experience.

In her situation, I would not have not recommended my favourite iPad communication app Proloquo2Go only because it is a little pricy for a day or two. For an extended voice lost, definitely.

Instead, I would have suggested the free text-to-speech app Verbally. This free, easy-to-use app would have saved Liz from using Post-It notes to communicate face-to-face. 

Surely someone from the SOBCon family would have lent Liz their iPad, at least during the socializing times, so that she could easily communicate and impart her wisdom.

To deliver her closing keynote, my suggestion would have been the text reader TextAloud – the free 15-day trial would have been sufficient.  With this handy piece of software, she could have written her keynote, tweaked the pronunciation and pauses,  and then saved it in one of many audio formats to be played on any laptop. (TextAloud is also great for proofreading.)

The technology really is that simple.

However, I love the solution that Liz did come up with. After several hours of fretting what to do, she grabbed a flipchart pad, disappeared into a quiet room and wrote one thought on 27 sheets of paper. Twenty-seven volunteers then read aloud Liz’s words.

Sometimes the simplest solution is the most effective, the most powerful.

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