Speaking to a Multilingual Audience

In Blog by Rafael Morel1 Comment

When preparing to speak to a multilingual audience, you’ll need to arrange to have an interpreter present in order to make sure everyone can understand your presentation. Choose your interpreter or interpretation firm carefully because having your speech interpreted correctly is vital to the success of any presentation.

Go over the details of the presentation before you look for an interpretation firm. This way, you’ll know if you want either consecutive or simultaneous interpretation services as well as how many interpreters you’ll need. After choosing the right services, it’s time to concentrate on preparing your presentation.

Tips for Preparing Your Presentation

Preparing your speech in advance is very important to ensure you have everything in order before the presentation. You need to know exactly what you’re going to say to avoid making mistakes that could cause confusion for the interpreter and the audience.

When using simultaneous interpretation services, your speeches need to be clear and concise in order to make it easier for the interpreter to relay your message. It’s best to avoid making jokes and the use of abbreviations that can be difficult to interpret. Instead, use short sentences with simple words, speak clearly and pause between each sentence to reduce misunderstandings.

Tips for Working with an Interpreter

If you’ve never worked with an interpreter before or if you’re working with someone new, then it’s a good idea to meet with the interpreter a day or two before the presentation, as well as providing your interpreter with a copy of your presentation.  This will give you a chance to ask any questions that you may have to help make the speech go smoother. You can also answer any questions he may have to help the interpreter prepare for the speech.

When giving your presentation, remember to focus on your audience and speak to them directly, not to the interpreter. When you add extra words that you don’t need, you only complicate things and make it more difficult for the interpreter to do his job. You also want to keep a straight line of sight between the two of you, so try to avoid turning away from the interpreter. Remember to speak clearly and to pace yourself, that way your interpreter will be able to follow you much better, therefore your audience will be able to understand your presentation with nothing being lost in translation.

Having your speech prepared in advance and talking with the interpreter prior to the day of the presentation will help ensure your multilingual speech goes smoothly.


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