MET cycle of talks

Lifehacks for language professionals

In this new cycle of online talks, MET members share strategies to make our professional lives more efficient and rewarding. The sessions focus on the practicalities of being a language professional rather than on language skills. The speakers at the first session, Silvia Ortiz Miñarro and Christa Bedwin, address two topics we all deal with every day: how to manage our finances and how to communicate effectively. Their talks last 50 minutes each, including Q&A and discussion.

Financial planning for the self-employed
Silvia Ortiz Miñarro

In a fiercely competitive globalized world with frequent recessions, language professionals not only have to be great with words but must also be savvy with numbers. You don’t need a degree in maths for this: financial planning is something anyone can (and should) do. If you’re self-employed or have a small business, you probably don't have the same social security coverage as an employee (unemployment benefits, paid sick leave, paid holidays) nor a guaranteed salary at the end of the month. Planning your finances will help you with the day-to-day running of your business and will also give you more peace of mind in the long term.

In this session you will discover the financial risks we, as freelancers, face in the short, medium and long term and how to protect yourself against them. Silvia will also explain how to improve your cash flow and save more, and what to do with your money to protect it from inflation.

If you think you’re not yet earning enough to boost the health of your finances, you’re wrong! The sooner you start taking into account how important money matters are in your career path, the sooner you’ll get to where you want to be in the exciting world of freelance translation and editing.

Effective conversations and presentations
Christa Bedwin

Most of us know that drawing others out and letting them speak will encourage better relations. This is true both in conversations and when we give presentations – engaging listeners is key.

In this session we will examine strategies to actively engage a roomful of people to make both live and online presentations more effective and compelling, including appropriate use of silence. Christa compares in-person teaching experiences with the virtual professional classrooms we have grown accustomed to during the pandemic, offering some tips and tricks you might not yet have tried.

We’ll also discuss how to shine in in-person or online conversations – not by monopolizing the floor but by creating integrated conversations that draw in others, which is more fun for all and can help us build strong, fulfilling and hopefully profitable professional relationships.

Silvia Ortiz Miñarro has a degree in translation and interpreting and has been working as a freelance translator for 11 years. Her passion for the world of finance led her to specialize in this field by reading books and attending courses and conferences on economics, investment, commercial law and business. In addition, she has been investing her savings since 2014 in order not to be dependent on a single source of income.

Christa Bedwin has 25 years’ editing and teaching experience. She edits for educational and trade publishers, industry, government and academia, teaches technical writing to engineers and scientists internationally, and has published several textbooks about technical writing for scientific-reporting consultants. Christa grew up on a cattle ranch in the Canadian Rockies and has travelled to several dozen countries. She loves farm volunteering with the WWOOF organization, teaching yoga and writing novels.