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Public Speaking: Bilingual Help

When going over room setup and audio / visual requirements with a foreign logistics person, make sure you do it in advance of the presentation (hopefully several times), and have a bilingual person there to ensure that both you and the logistics person are on the same wavelength.

Be in the room very early on the day of the speaking engagement (at least two hours before the public enters the room) and, if possible, have your bilingual helper there too. Terms that are familiar to most English speaking speakers are difficult to translate into a foreign language. One good idea is to take pictures of the various items you may need (overhead projector, laser pointer, erasable markers, white board, etc.) and carry them with you to the event. When you want something, all you have to do is show the picture which, when you are desperate in a foreign country, is worth a million words.

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