Walking the talk - European mini-tour

So I'm leaving for Paris Saturday afternoon, after that it's Stuttgart and then London before back in NY. We wil be doing internal education. Shame Milan got cut its the best place of the four for me. Anyway, there is quite a team of us doing the "tour" and speaking.

One of the guys sent around a top-10 hints and tips for the sessions. He missed out the obvious one though. I wrote it in an email tonight and sent it out, I've already had 3x big-ups for writing it. For the record I thought I'd post it here.In case it's not too late my number-1 tip for all those presenting in France and Germany, especially those whose native language isn't French or German, is to take at least 3-5 slides out of your presentation before you start!

Our European colleagues have an excellent grasp of language, especially English. However, if your session was pushed for time and you had to rush to get through the material in Dallas and New York, you'll never make it with the same amount of material in France and Germany. Worse still, if you insist in going at 95MPH to get through the material anyway, you'll lose the bulk of your audience.

It's basic stuff, imagine listening to a story on the radio, while watching a movie on TV with the sound turned down. Every now and again something on the radio or TV throws you off and you lose track of one or the other, or both. The simple answer to get back on track is to turn one off... hopefully your audience won't turn you off by stopping listening!

So, delete or combine as many slides as you can, remember they will be reading-translating, listening-translating and all you'll be doing is talking. Then, when speaking try to take a natural break at the end of sentences or paragraphs. That means speaking like this and when you get to the end stopping.                               This allows the translation engine inside your audiences head to catch-up and finish processing.

What ever you do though don't be tempted to start talking          like              this         and leaving             big          gaps               between              words.             Not             only              does           it         sound           monotonous        but      it          causes         you to lose inflection, the tone and pitch of your voice will not change as it would normally. This is especially important in English(and Spanish) as this inflection often gives words meaning, and for example makes the difference between a question and a statement.

Other than that, the easiest way to get over presenter nerves is to relax and enjoy yourself. Watch your audience reactions and go with them. If you are enjoying it, they will!

See you Monday in Paris.... now if only I could speak French or German or for that matter "propa Englissh"!
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