Multi-language Conference Event Tips

A multi-language event, whether in a conference venue or via web cast, has many differences. Remember the interpreters are your allies in conveying your message to the audience. You can help them by following these simple guidelines

•If you have a written text or notes for your speech, whether or not you intend to follow them, please make a copy and give it to the conference secretariat for distribution to the interpreters. Interpreters do not simply rely on words, they interpret the meaning and should therefore familiarize themselves with your subject and terminology. You are free to depart from your text or add to it as you go along. Interpreters are bound by professional code of ethics that includes confidentiality, and the content of your document will remain confidential at all times and will be returned to you on request.


• If you wish to show a film, transparencies or a power point presentation, please make sure that the interpreters receive the script, a copy of the transparencies or of the power point slides. The booths are often situated far away from the screen and it would be helpful if the interpreters had copies of the projected text in front of them.


When reading from a script one tends to speed up which means that the audience will find it difficult to follow and, as a result, parts of your message will be lost. If you have not spoken at meetings with interpretation before, it may be advisable to pace your delivery beforehand. Ideally you should allow 3 minutes per page of 40 lines.


Before you speak, please make sure your microphone is switched on. Knocking the microphone or blowing into it as a test will merely be amplified in the interpreters' headphones and cause an unpleasant noise. To test the microphones just say a few words like "Good morning" or "I want to make sure the interpreters can hear me".


Please do not speak too close to the microphone as this creates interference and avoid leaving your receiver set close to the microphone when you speak to prevent feed-back whistling. The technician will be able to advise you on this.


* If you need to move away from your seat, i.e. to point at a slide or transparency projection, please use a neck or lapel microphone. Without a microphone the interpreters cannot hear you, however loud you speak.


* If you are speaking from the rostrum or a lectern and want to reply to questions from the floor, please make sure you have a receiver set with you to follow the questions as they are interpreted. Keep in mind that if the questions are in English, the audience will still need a microphone in order for the interpreters to hear the question and interpret it to the non-English speakers.