The Linguist

The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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22 The Linguist Vol/57 No/4 2018 FEATURES need to learn about the subject. Reflect on your brief: will you be providing a primer for newbies, a survey of a new area, or an in-depth exploration of a narrow niche? Have a good brainstorm for ideas, flesh them out, see what starts to emerge, do your research. Make the content as concrete as possible, with examples and anecdotes, and maybe some quotes or pictures to illustrate your points. Look at your own work and experience. Start a swipe file of 'found' material from your online and offline peregrinations that might come in handy. I've been presenting a webinar-based course for five years now, so I keep an eye out for interesting snippets and fresh ideas to slip into my slides straightaway, like a photograph of a humorously ambiguous street sign or restaurant menu to illustrate a linguistic point. In short, make it all as memorable and engaging as you can – perhaps with a line from Friends, a clip from YouTube or a live demo. Remember how much more fun it was to learn a language with entertaining audiovisual material, rather than constantly having to slog through artificial exercises like the classic La plume de ma tante (sigh). I try to pack my webinars with useful content to give attendees value for the hour that they're giving me, so I look to maintain a decent pace, although hopefully without rushing, gabbling and confusing everyone. Give yourself enough time to explain; give them enough time to listen and read. And don't rush on to the next slide before they've had the chance to digest the last point on the current one (as someone once told me). You can't see your audience, so you have to do without the feedback of smiles, nods, frowns or yawns Could online presenting be a new source of revenue for linguists? Oliver Lawrence offers some insights "I think we're ready to start now," says Lucy. A bead of perspiration forms on my forehead. A spider is spinning a web in my peripheral vision. I'm blinking at the screen. The countdown to my debut online presentation has begun. Gulp… The nerve- jangling prospect of giving my first webinar (and my first conference presentation in the same week) had been preying on my mind since eCPD invited me to present several months earlier. Seventeen webinars later, I can look back with something approaching fondness. So what were my attendees hoping for? Of the webinars that you've enjoyed, what made them a success? When you have a webinar to prepare, those questions make a good place to start. The answer, simply, is that it's about what you say and the way that you say it: it's about content and structure on the one hand, and presentation and delivery on the other. Sound obvious? Then let's unpack it a bit. First, of course, only accept the gig if you know about the subject and have plenty to say about it. Think what your audience will A world of webinars © SHUTTERSTOCK

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