CAM CALKOEN: BENDING PERCEPTIONS, INSPIRING CHANGE
YES DISABILITY SUPPORT CENTRE: NEWS Cam Calkoen is an inspirational speaker who is bending perceptions to inspire change and an attitude of awesomeness through simple, lasting human truths. Passionate about the Shore, this column reflects the awesomeness that surrounds us and the potential we all have to achieve a personal best.
Front row phobia Front row phobia - I don’t know if it’s a thing but I know you know what I’m writing about. As a presenter I see it all the time…people walk into the conference room relaxed, sipping their takeaway coffees, chatting away and then they see all the seats are full apart from the front row. It’s like the sound of fingernails on the blackboard. They’re no longer relaxed and avoidance becomes the default. All of a sudden, people realise they’ve been sitting all day and it would be good to stand for a bit, or the wall starts to look comfortable and a good place to lean. Almost everything else in the room becomes more desirable than taking the front row and running the risk off… whatever that little voice is saying within. My advice through this column is take the front row. Even if every other row is available sit in the front, unless it’s date night at the movies then go to the back, but at a conference, assembly, show, if the choice is available take it and this is why… There’s a lady who’s been at five separate events I’ve spoken at, I know…wow and she’s not my mum, but like a proud mum would be, she’s always in the front row. She’s a top performer in the industry I’m speaking with and when asked why she’s always in the front, often away from those who she knows, the logic that obviously contributes towards her success becomes clear. “In the front row there are no distractions between me and the stage; I can see better, I can hear better, I can be 100% present in what is happening in front of me. It’s like I’m the only one there.” What an admirable mindset that is. I got to practise this mindset as I sat front row at a gig as part of last month's comedy festival. Sharing via social media the photo of my front view of the stage brought about comments such as “abort”, “move back”, “you never want to sit front row man”. The show was fantastic, distraction-free and, as the show began to wind up, the comedian said: “Now you know me, I want to know you.” My palms began to sweat as the microphone came straight at me. This is what people dread, but you know what? I got an experience the guys down the back never got. I will never forget that show, my return on investment was far greater for the unique experience I got… AWESOME! Winners are at the front of those who follow, drivers are at the front of the car, pilots are at the front of the plane, captains make sure there is nothing disrupting their view all of this results in control and arriving at the desired destination. So as we enter our next event, sipping from a takeaway cup, what voice will we hear when we look at the available seats nearest the stage?
Past "Yes I Can" Graduates.
Youth Week: Yes I Can
By Mackenzie Kench of Yes Disability Resource Centre Youth Week, which was held from the 26th of May to the 4th of June, was all about acknowledging and celebrating the talents, passion and success of young people across the country. This is a familiar theme for the staff at the Yes Disability Resource Centre. We, at the Yes Disability Resource Centre, are currently working on ensuring we are providing young people with the services they need and want to become the best adult they can be. Our goal is to make this happen by using a “youth serving youth” strategy; meaning we keep up to date with the current youth perspective rather than trying to develop services based on older people's experiences and opinions. This means including youth, through our youth engagement group and other interested parties, in the development, redesign and implementation of our services. One service designed by young New Zealanders and offered by the Yes Disability Resource Centre, is a course called Yes I Can. The purpose of these workshops is to encourage other young adults to develop an understanding of their own identity and the core attributes they could potentially bring into leadership roles. Thanks to a Youth Week grant from Ara Taihoi, the Yes Disability Resource Centre was able to run a workshop, to coincide with Youth Week. On the same weekend, an adjacent course was held to train the next generation of "Yes I Can" facilitators to run future workshops. If you are interested in attending one of our next "Yes I Can" workshops, please contact me. www.yesdisability.org.nz
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Contact Cam 02111 26 598
Issue 77 - June 2017 www.channelmag.co.nz