International Presentation

How to present to multi-cultural audiences

Recently we ran an event for the 40 members of the global sales team of a multi-national, working with them to ‘Tame their Public Speaking Monkeys’ and help them increase their confidence when presenting.

The participants travelled to Bournemouth from all round the world and we wanted to present to them in a way to increase their understanding, make it as easy as we could for them to listen, and build rapport with them.

If you are presenting to an audience where you don’t share the same first language and you come from different cultures, there is some additional preparation you can do, and tips you can follow, to make your presentation have impact for everyone.

Do your research – if you know the cultures represented in your audience you can do research, so you learn the best ways to build rapport, and how to avoid causing offence.

Have a clear structure – as always, the structure should be all about what the audience wants and set out so it is easy to follow.

Pace your speech – make sure you speak slowly and clearly, allowing pauses between sentences. You want to allow time for your audience to listen, translate and comprehend. Even if it sounds too slow to you, it won’t be to the audience, so practice speaking slowly.

Check body language and use of hands – some cultures are more animated than others and hand movements will mean different things. The best way to show respect and avoid inadvertently causing offence is to remain still in the presenter stance, which means being well grounded with minimal hand movement.

Avoid humour – what is funny in one culture could cause offence in another so don’t risk humour!

Be careful of jargon and analogies – jargon may not be understood, and they may not be able to identify with analogies. However, if you do have time you could find some relevant analogies you could use to demonstrate you understand their world.

Understand about audience response – in different cultures audiences respond differently. Some show respect or appreciation by becoming animated, others remain calm and still. Do your research to know what to expect so you know when you have built strong rapport and they are engaged.

If you too would like to travel to Bournemouth (although we also deliver training all around the UK) to learn more about these tips and how ‘Taming your Public Speaking Monkeys’ will help you build your confidence when presenting to audiences where you don’t share the same first language, please get in touch with us today.

 

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Dee Clayton

Posted by Dee Clayton on 15 Mar 2018

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