New experiences: at the front of the class

Over the past month, I have been involved in two presentations for very different audiences, so I thought that I’d reflect on the experiences and what I have learnt.

The famous Eleanor Roosevelt quotation has been my mantra recently: “do one thing every day that scares you”. Speaking in public has never been something that I have been confident or even comfortable with, but I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath and talked. And talked. Before I knew it, it felt a bit easier, more natural. I think Eleanor had a point!

Here’s a quick round-up of my presentations:

The Language Show – a group presentation (I covered blogging) on online marketing for linguists to over 200 attendees at Language Show Live at Olympia in London. Read my longer report in a previous post here. This was my first presentation to a large group, let alone to peers, so it was a big deal for me but I’m pleased to say that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Presenting as a group was a good way to start, as it took the pressure off me as a sole speaker, and I gained the confidence to be able to present by myself in the future. Thanks again to Websites for Translators for inviting me to take part.

Gifted Linguists Conference – last week I spoke as part of an event at Haybridge High School in Worcestershire, which aimed to give over 100 year 9 pupils (13-14 years of age) an idea of the practically endless opportunities for careers with languages. My contribution included:
•A presentation on the perils of using Google Translate (apparently some students use it to do their homework!)
•Recommending alternative online resources
•Talking about the many doors that learning languages has opened for me

I have also been invited to talk at another school event at the end of this month, this time at a specialist languages college in Hanley Castle, Worcestershire. In these sessions (there are 3 groups of students), I will share my journey to becoming a freelance translator, editor and writer and share photos and souvenirs of the many different pit stops I made along the way.

It wasn’t so long ago since I was where they are now, and I would have loved to hear from someone who loves their job so much. Ours is such a wonderful industry to be a part of, and I hope I have shared (and will continue to share) this with the linguists of future.watch Buena Vista Social Club: Adios 2017 movie now

Have you ever gone into schools to promote careers in languages? Is it something that you would like to do?

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This article was written by: Megan Onions

  1. 3 Comments

    • Bronwen Davies says:

      Good on you! I must say I don’t find speaking in public very easy either.
      That reminds me – we have a running joke in our family about public speaking. Each time we practised making speeches when we were growing up we had this introduction – “Ladies and gentlemen, unaccustomed as I am to public speaking…” 🙂
      I also think that going into schools and enthusing children about the myriad of opportunities that languages bring, particularly in view of the fact that learning a language beyond the age of 14 is no longer compulsory.

    • Bronwen Davies says:

      Sorry – I missed out a couple of words
      I meant to say:
      I also think that going into schools and enthusing children about the myriad of opportunities that languages bring is important, particularly in view of the fact that learning a language beyond the age of 14 is no longer compulsory.

      • Thanks for reading and commenting, Bronwen 🙂

        I’m glad, although not surprised, to hear that I am not alone in struggling with public speaking. I like your introduction, but I’m not sure it would have any effect on a bunch of 14-year-olds…

        That aside, I really enjoying telling people of any age about the benefits of learning and working with languages. I’ve had some great experiences in my career thus far, and I love sharing my passion for my work.

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