Business storytelling: Put your story to work

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Humans are wired to connect by hearing and telling stories

Kevin Swayze business storytelling
Kevin Swayze, business storyteller and presentation coach.

Put the power of business storytelling to work when you want your message heard — and remembered.

Connect with your customers.

Craft engaging sales presenations.

Build your brand online and in person.

Personal, deliberate storytelling does that — and more.

Kevin Swayze helps you unearth, shape and empower your story so it cuts through the static of social media. He’ll guide you to give reporters what they want to boost your image in earned media opportunities. Business storytelling helps you win positive attention in our age of distraction

Give your audience what it wants

Kevin has 30+ years of journalism experience digging for the root of what’s going on. After writing thousands of stories on daily deadlines, Kevin knows how to zero in on the key issues. He asks questions to polish your next blog entry, craft a memorable Facebook post memorable or impress clients during your next business presentation.

Put business storytelling to work

Kevin crafts messages using Emotional Intelligence and proven journalism tactics. Honestly, transparency and empathy build memorable sponsored content, sales presentations or keynote speeches. Kevin prepares you for the moment your elevator pitch impresses an investor.

Deliver your message with impact

Kevin coaches you on how to effectively connect with your audience by expanding your toolkit of interpersonal tactics and online communication skills. Learn engaging and entertaining tactics of audience engagement. Hold everyone’s attention in the room from the first breath of your speech all the way to the closing applause.

Contact Kevin today to help you build compelling, persuasive messages that are remembered and shared. Reach him by email; text or voice at 226-924-4237, or use the contact form below.

2 job fairs for my international students at Conestoga College, February 2024

Help Wanted sign in window

I often hear about the desire for part-time work from the International students I teach at Conestoga College, in downtown Kitchener.

Here’s what I shared with my Technical Communication classes this week, as I do whenever I hear of job leads:

Thursday, February 1, 2024 – Multi-Employer Hiring Event hosted by Lutherwood, at Cambridge City Hall, 50 Dickson Street, Cambridge, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mostly full-time positions on offer, but some part-time opportunities are promised. Organizers suggest arriving with resumes in hand.

February 7, 2024 – P4E Career and Job Fair is an online event, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a collaborative effort among the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College.  Employers generally offer full-time, co-op, and summer roles.

And I’ve heard of another on-campus job fair at Conestoga’s main campus:

March 13, 2024 – 2024 Conestoga Job Fair, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the recreation centre at the Doon Campus. It’s also focused on full-time, co-op, and summer seasonal positions for students and alumni. 

The Conestoga Talent Hub at the Downtown Kitchener Campus is a resource for students in their job search and career planning.

And I always encourage students to use employment guidance from Student Support Services at the college.

I can’t find jobs for students, but I’m always ready to pass along suggestions and point them toward whatever good news I hear about.

Noisy jets: One day, I’d like to visit the Mach Loop in person

One day, I’d like to visit the Mach Loop in Wales to watch military jets flying in the valley in front of me.

For now, I’ll watch videos on YouTube so save me airfare – and buy some upgraded camera gear.

The video above is via the Big Geek Daddy email newsletter.

What is the Mach Loop?

Here’s why the Mach Loop is a popular place for jet pilots to train for low-level flying:

And here’s a pretty RCAF CF-18 showing off in 2018.

Santa Claus Parades offer International Students fun in Waterloo and Cambridge

Santa Claus on parade float with child
Santa Claus and a young helper ride the final float in the Hespeler Santa Claus parade in 2017.

I encourage my international students at Conestoga College to enjoy Santa Claus parades as the weather turns colder.

Every Canadian city, town, and village seems to have a Santa Claus parade in late November or early December. They’re community gatherings where parents and children gather to watch marching bands, floats, and usually fire trucks.

December 18, 2023, two big parades in Waterloo Region offer different experiences. In all, eight Santa Claus parades are planned for autumn 2023 in Waterloo Region.

For my international students from past semesters in Brantford, that city’s Santa Claus Parade starts at 6 p.m. on November 25, 2023, along Dalhousie Street. 

Kitchener and Waterloo parade

The first Santa Claus parade on November 18 is the Kitchener-Waterloo event, along Weber Street. It starts at 10 a.m. at Frederick Street near the Downtown Kitchener Campus of Conestoga College. The parade passes near the Waterloo campus of Conestoga. It ends at Erb Street in downtown Waterloo.

It will probably take about an hour or so for all of the floats and displays to pass any location on the route. By tradition, Santa Claus rides a float at the end of the parade, waving to children and wishing a Merry Christmas to all.

Cambridge parades

At 6 p.m., November 18, the Cambridge Santa Claus parade follows Hespeler Road, I startes at Dunbar Road, travels north, and ends at Lang’s Drive. It features illuminated decorations on floats.

Cambridge also hosts a smaller parade on December 2 at 12 p.m. It is in the former Hespeler Village downtown, north of Highway 401. That parade follows Queen Street, starting near Groh Avenue and finishing in Forbes Park on Tannery Street.

Cambridge was formed from three different communities 50 years ago, including Hespeler. The community there celebrates its independence from Cambridge whenever it can, often with its own Hespeler-named celebrations.

Personal Parade planning

Plan to arrive earlier than the start time at the parade route, perhaps an hour or two in the case of larger parades that draw large crowds along the sidewalks. 

People often arrive early with bring lawn chairs, hot drinks in thermal cups and bags of snacks. They position themselves along the curb edge of the sidewalk, and wait. People may then stand behind them in second and third rows.

If you’ve never watched a parade in cool or cold weather, I advise dressing more warmly than you first think you need to – even if the weather seems pleasant. If there’s wind, I always feel much colder while standing still. Rain or snow always tests the best of my warm-weather clothing.

I’ve never found running shoes practical footwear when standing on a cold concrete sidewalk. My feet always get cold. I feel miserable, shuffling and stomping my feet to warm up.

Donation requests at parades

Don’t be surprised to see donation requests from some groups passing along on the parade.

Volunteers from local food banks walk the parade routes, collecting cash and food donations people brought with them.

There’s also a good chance you’ll see people carrying buckets and asking for cash donations to help pay for organizing the parade. Marching bands, for example, usually charge a performance fee to cover their travel and operating costs, even if the musicals are volunteers or students.

Christmas holiday parades are a part of local traditions that I genuinely hope my international students can participate in and enjoy.

Buses to parades

The Kitchener-Waterloo parade is easy for students in Kitchener and Waterloo to access using Grand River Transit buses or ION Light Rail Transit. There are several tram stops near the parade route.

The Cambridge parades are also accessible by GRT buses for my students living in Kitchener-Waterloo. 

For the November 18 parade, it’s likely most efficient to depart Kitchener from the Fairview Park Mall station using the Route 302 Express bus.

That route stops along Hespeler Road in the middle of the parade route, at Cambridge Centre Shopping Centre transit station. City crews usually start closing Hespeler Road to traffic at about 5:45 p.m. That detours the 302 Route buses to the east along Conestoga Boulevard.

Leaving Kitchener on December 2 to reach the Hespeler village parade, the most direct transit option also starts from Fairview Park Mall station.

Take the Route 302 or Route 206 buses to Sportsworld Station, then transfer to Route 203 buses. The 203 Route has several stops in the Hespeler village area, which shuts to traffic for the parade.

Rake-to-the-curb leaf collection starts Nov. 13 in West Galt

Maple leaves on the ground on an autumn day.

Halloween is history and it’s time to start thinking about the city’s rake-to-the-curb leaf collection, set to start Nov. 8 and continue through Dec. 6, 2023 in Cambridge.

City crews will collect the leaves for composting, once section of the city at a time. Look for an interactive online map at this link, under the “Cambridge Leaf Collection Program” drop-down section.

Leaf collection times

Here’s what West Galt residents need to know about leaf collection:

  • Nov. 13- 17 – collection mostly in the triangle of west Galt between the Grand River, St. Andrew’s Street and the south city limits.
  • Nov.  20-24 – collection west of Rosslyn Road and north of Bismark Drive; and south of Blenheim Road to St. Andrew’s Street.
  • Nov. 27-Dec. 1  – collection north of Blenheim Road including Blair Village, west of the Grand River.
Cambridge city crews collecting leaves.

The city encourages property owners to leave leaves in place over the winter, providing habitat for pollinator like bees and butterflies.  

Cambridge is designated a Canadian Bee City, for local efforts to protect pollinator habitat.

Or you can rake, mulch and compost, to keep the nutrients on your property for your 2024 growing season.

Yard Waste pickup ends week of November 22

Region of Waterloo curbside yard waste collection continues for two more weeks in 2023: Nov. 6 and Nov. 20.

Bagged yard waste collection in Cambridge is provided by the Region of Waterloo.

You may also take your bagged leaves and yard waste to the Cambridge Waste Management Centre, 201 Savage Dr., Monday to Saturday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Fees may apply.

Here’s the city’s leaf collection tips video: