Public Speaking

Jan 6, 2023

3 Tips to Speak in Public via Interpreters

Written by Cecilia Lipovsek

Interpreters are here for you. Our job is to help you get your message across. So, here are three practical tips to keep in mind. Read/Listen to the full Note:

More often than not, when told they will be interpreted, speakers tend to panic a little bit – Speaking in public is hard enough, right?

Well, there is no need to panic at all since we, interpreters, are here for you. Our job is to help you get your message across. But, to make your life easier and put your mind at ease, here are three practical tips to keep in mind when speaking in public via interpreters:

One: Let your audience know your speech/presentation will be interpreted

This way, those in the audience who need language interpretation can put their earphones on and, also, be clear about what is going on around them.

 The tip: Just saying something down the lines of ‘this speech/presentation is being interpreted into Spanish/English/Portuguese/etc’ is enough.

Two: Speak naturally.

Interpreters do not translate words but ideas, so we need you to keep talking in order to complete our own processing and convey your message in the opposite language. Professional interpreters can cope with speed, but not even the best interpreters in the world can make up content and translate what is not said.

The tip: Focus on smashing it out of the park, we will do our part and smash it with and for you.

Three: Mind the lag.

Roughly, interpreters listen-process-translate and, as fast as the best of us are, that takes time. Not long, only a few seconds. In addition, your foreign language audience (just like your own language one) also needs to listen-process-react. This is why, when you communicate via interpreters, part of the audience laughs, reacts, and applauds a few seconds after the rest of the audience.

The tip: Pause for a couple of seconds after key parts of your speech/presentation to give everyone time to catch up.

Bonus tip:

Thank you interpreters! We like having our work and effort acknowledged just as much as anyone else.



The Back Effect

The Back Effect

Over the years, I have noticed there is a very curious phenomenon that happens in every meeting or event where good interpreting is provided. I call it The Back Effect. It goes like this: Delegates or attendees enter the room and are given headphones and receivers....

I am not Superman, I am Batman

I am not Superman, I am Batman

Equipped with my talent and super interpreting skills but with no gadgets, I’d be like Batman walking the streets in plain clothes on a Tuesday afternoon. Or maybe I should better say: I’m 80% Batwoman, and 20% Superwoman. 😉 I’m not a big comic fan, so my apologies...

London by Cecilia Lipovsek<br />
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