Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

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 chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Please Be Boston-bound for InBound

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 11:52 pm on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Glenda Watson Hyatt

in July 2010, I had the pleasure of presenting on a panel Living with a Disability in the Web 2.0 Era at the Plain Talk Conference held in Alexandria, Virginia.

While at the event, I met two women who worked in the web accessibility field in Boston. Upon parting, one of them extended an invitation to meet up, if I am ever in Boston.

My immediate thought, of course, was Yeah, right, when will I ever be in Boston?

Fast forward to May 31st, 2014: I was trying to navigate through the still-under-renovation Main Street Shytrain Station on my way to a speaking gig, when a song line suddenly popped into my head out of apparently nowhere: Please come to Boston.

Huh? That was the only line that came to mind from a song I know I knew, but I couldn’t recall any other words.

While I was searching for the new elevator at the far end of the expanded platform: Please come to Boston.

While I was scooting along the sidewalks, trying to concentrate on finding the venue in a part of town I wasn’t particularly familiar with: Please come to Boston.

Again, huh? Where was that coming from? And, perhaps equally as important, what did it mean?

(Welcome to the inner workings of my brain! Total chaos most of the time.)

I managed to quiet the voices in my head in time to deliver my presentation; my second one using my iPad. And, yeah, I kinda rocked it!

Glenda using her iPad to deliver a speech

Afterwards, Karen, my partner in crime since we were 7 year old Brownies, and I went to Starbucks around the corner. Karen, who also serves as my editor on speed dial, was excited to see me deliver a presentation live. Likely to prepare herself for the next round of editing, she asked what was the next speaking gig I had lined up. At that point, my schedule was open, which is kind of an empty feeling for someone who is trying to get her speaking career going.

While Karen checked her phone for an email message she wanted me to read, I took advantage of the free wifi to check Facebook. Much to my delight, there was a private message from Laura Fitton, who I had first met as @Pistachio on Twitter years ago and then met in person at a BlogWorld Conference in Las Vegas.

She messaged me to invite me to do a 12-minute Bold Talk on any topic I am passionate about, much like a TED Talk. This would be at InBound, with an expected registration of 8,000. The Bold Talks take place in a room with a capacity of 1,000! (I had just finished speaking to a room with 20 attendees, max.) In Boston.

INBOUND 2014 Speaker - September 15-18, 2014 - Boston, MA

Seriously?!

I am presenting my Bold Talk “Go Beyond: Stare Your Fear in the Face and Boldly Go for It!” at INBOUND 2014 next Wednesday, in Boston!

Boston, here I come.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Can’t Stop Me: Rock n Roll Singers Provide a Roadmap for My Motivational Speaking Career

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 2:51 pm on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rod Stewart in concert at GM Place Stadium, Vancouver, August at 2009Over the years, various songs have been anthems or theme songs for my life. These tunes either mark milestones or help me navigate something I am going through.

My current theme song is Rod Stewart’s Can’t Stop Me.

Why does Rod’s song about how he got started in his singing career bring me to tears as I launch my motivational speaking career?

Back in my early years at university, I spent my second summer semester “learning how to use the microfilm and the microfiche in the library just in case I needed to use that technology to research a paper” – yes, I am that old! And, really, there wasn’t much else to do during simmer semesters atop Burnaby Mountain.

Actually, I was searching for anything and everything I could find about Rod Stewart, who I had fallen in love with during the 1989 American Music Awards. Yes, i was also a late bloomer! My excuse: I was raised on country music.

Print outs of magazine articles with post-it notes neatly attached

I spent a small fortune on printing that summer. I also neatly typed each article reference on post-it notes; obviously I had more “free” time back then. I even wrote to his record company, requesting 8×10 glossies.

But I digress.

I became fascinated with his career, particularly how he got started; how Long John Baldry discovered Rod while he was playing harmonica in a train station late one night (not seeing Long John perform while he was living in the area is one of my few regrets), and how, by fluke, a radio disc jockey played Side B and Maggie May launched Rod into stardom:

I was singing in the pubs
Was singing in the clubs
Then along came Maggie May

~ Lyrics from Rod Stewart’s Can’t Stop Me

Around the same time I also had a subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. Grabbing a newly-arrived issue and a cold can of Coke and heading to the spot just above the football practice field was one of my few opportunities to read something other than boring university textbooks. I was intrigued with the behind-the-scenes side of the music industry; how the formation of bands was rather fluid and intertwined was fascinating.  

At that time, my fantasy was to become a rocker chick with a searing electric guitar, but, sadly, this white gimp chick has no rhythm. My somewhat-more-realistic dream job was some kind of clerical or office position at the Little Mountain Studios – a local studio where big names like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and many others came to record. I was devastated when the studio suddenly closed; that dream died before I had the opportunity to even pursue it.

I am the kind of concert-goer, when I can afford to go, who enjoys arriving early to watch the last minute set up. And then, afterwards, while I am waiting for the crowd to thin out before I head toward the exit, I watch how quickly the roadies dismantle the lighting and stage:

Now the seats are all empty
Let the roadies take the stage
Pack it up and tear it down
They’re the first to come and last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They’ll set it up in another town

~ Lyrics from Jackson Browne’s The Load Out / Stay

Ever since beginning to entertain the thought of exploring the possibility of becoming a professional speaker, I have felt an affinity with the careers of singers. Those who have paid their dues by playing the smoky backrooms and who have worked their way up, until they finally got  their lucky start. Not like many of the performers today who gain, what seems like, instant fame.

As I see it, the singer and the speaker does the same thing: move, touch, motivate, inspire, educate, rally, entertain. The only difference is one puts the words to music.

The careers of these old rock n rollers – and country singers, too – have kindly provided me with the roadmap for my speaking career. I am willing (and have been doing) to speak to those groups in small, back rooms, in exchange for “a token of our appreciation”. Those gigs are affording me the opportunities to find my voice as a motivational speaker.

The way I present using a text-to-speech app on my iPad and my “uniqueness in movement” (particularly when I am nervous) doesn’t really fit the image of what a motivational speaker looks like. I totally relate to Rod’s beginnings:

"We can’t sign you, son
‘Cause you don’t fit in the mould.
It’s your hair and your nose and your clothes."
I said, "Thank you gentlemen
For this opportunity.
Now move on down the road."

In time, with enough practice, enough massaging of my message, enough confidence in finding my stage presence, my Long John Baldry or my Maggie May will come along.

They can’t stop me now
The world is waiting
It’s my turn to stand out in the crowd
They can’t stop me now
The tide is turning
I’m gonna make you proud

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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An Easter Bouquet for You

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 12:35 pm on Saturday, April 19, 2014

Picked especially for you from our first Photo Wheel of the season…

Vibrant pink rhododendrons

A group of red tulips under tall trees

White and yellow daffodils under the trees

Red tulips and purple pansies

Daffodils close up

Pink frilly rhododendrons

Purple flowers

Wishing you a blessed Easter!

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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An iPad and Proloquo4Text Creates an Acoustic Method for Delivering Presentations

Filed under: Motivation — by Glenda at 3:23 pm on Monday, April 14, 2014

Glenda using her iPadEver since buying my original iPad and, even more so, since my iPad Air, I have wondered if I could use the device to deliver a presentation.

Other people have been asking me if I use my iPad while delivering presentations.

Thanks to the fairly newly released app Proloquo4Text (P4T) – a solely text-based communication app – I think I can finally answer, ”Yes!”

With this app, I can enter text as phrases, sentences or paragraphs and, then, with one tap, my iPad will speak that text.

Screen shot of Proloquo4Text app

Unfortunately, the voice of Kate – the synthesized voice that I use in all of my presentations and feels like my voice – is not (yet?) available in the P4T app. But that isn’t really a big deal, right?

However, the good news is the text is easy to edit and to rearrange, which means that making changes right before “going on stage” is possible. I can even skip “speaking” a block of text while presenting. I definitely do not have that flexibility with the current method of using PowerPoint. With using PowerPoint, once it is saved to the USB drive, no other changes can be made. It is what it is. There is no flexibility while I deliver it.

And, with the P4T app open, I can type a comment or respond to a question, which creates further opportunity for spontaneity.

There are a few drawbacks, however. Because an extended tap can cause one block of text to be spoken, it would be relatively easy to “speak” a wrong block, particularly when I am nervous and my hands are more jerky than usual.

Also, I wouldn’t, necessarily, need PowerPoint, which I find redirects eyeballs off of me and onto the large screen. I find that is one way – perhaps a sneaky way – to deal with the jitters of being in front of an audience.

It does mean that if I have access to PowerPoint at the event, I can still use it to show photos and such. But I no longer need to spend hours on creating the captions, animations and timings, unless I choose to create my presentation in that way.

I now have a choice!

I can choose between my pared down, “acoustic” method using only my iPad with my nifty new Bluetooth speaker, which will be ideal for smaller venues or my full blown “rock n roll” method using PowerPoint with the scrolling captions and layered images, which is likely best for longer, more in-depth topics.

As this “acoustic” method has recently formulated in my mind, I have yet to test it in a living lab. I would gratefully welcome the opportunity to deliver a 5-, 10- or 15-minute presentation if you have an audience that might be open to a motivational message, but possibly a not quite perfected delivery method.


For more of information about how I deliver motivational presentations with a synthesized voice, please visit my speaker site.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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