Tips for speakers

  • Tips for speakers (helping interpreters as well)

    The big day is finally here. However, to get your message across in the most faithful way, interpreters need your help.

    Here are some useful suggestions.


    Do not speak too quickly!

    The ability to provide a good simultaneous interpretation depends very much on the pace of delivery of the speaker.

    Bear in mind that we will not read an already translated presentation, but we will have to think and speak almost at the same time. So, please, remember not to speak too quickly!


    Do you plan to read a written presentation? Give a copy of it to the interpreter!

    If you have already prepared your presentation, please send us a draft or final copy of it before the start of the meeting: it will make our job easier.

    We will keep your documents strictly confidential.

    If you read your presentation, an adequate speed will be 3 minutes per page of 40 lines. Remember that, if you read, you will tend to speed up, making it difficult for interpreters – and even for the audience listening directly to your voice – to fully understand your message.


    Do you plan to show a PowerPoint presentation or a video?

    In this case, too, please let us have the slides beforehand. As the visibility of the screen is not always good from the interpreting booths, viewing your presentation on our laptops or relying on a printed copy of it will be very useful for us.

    If you plan to show a video, we would be pleased to see it beforehand, since its soundtrack or background music may interfere with your own voice, making our job more difficult.

    We will keep all such material strictly confidential.


    Will you use a specific terminology?

    If your presentation deals with a very specific topic, please prepare a glossary: interpreters need to study the specific terminology of each meeting and each presentation.


    Plan a meeting with the interpreters

    If you wish to clarify any aspect of your presentation, we will be happy to meet you before the start of the meeting or during breaks.


    Last but not least…the microphone!

    Before taking the floor, make sure that you have switched on your microphone and switched off or removed your headset (which may cause interferences or feed our own voice back into your microphone).

    During your presentation, if you wish to move away from the table or podium, ask for a lapel microphone to enable interpreters to hear your voice.

    During the discussion, if you are at the podium, keep your headset on hand for possible questions in a working language that you do not know.

    Once the speaker and the interpreter are on the same wavelength, they will happily achieve their goals.