Monday, November 08, 2010

Public Speaking: Words...

Terminology is different in most areas of the world even if the language is
Highly tested humor that would work anywhere in the U.S. may fall
flat in another country simply because the audience doesn't understand one of
the words. For example, in Australia, "breakout sessions" are called
"syndicates." If you were making a joke in Australia that used the word
syndicate, you might totally confuse the audience and they wouldn't laugh.

People from most other countries will not relate easily if you mention
measurement units such as miles per gallon or miles per hour.
You should
avoid talking about seasons of the year, which may not be the same, sports
figures or celebrities that don't have world-wide name recognition. Rethink all
the humor you normally use and try to identify problematic words. This is
difficult to do by yourself. Try to find a person familiar with the local culture
to help you.

When using translators, humor is tougher because timing and word play
don't translate well.
You might have to slow down considerably because of
interpretation. Some speakers use half sentences to keep up the pace. This is
very difficult and requires practice.

Speakers have been known to have fun with interpreters (of course, I would
never do this). An unnamed speaker I know purposely mumbled to his
interpreter to see what would happen. The interpreter mumbled back. Then the
speaker mumbled again. It was hilarious.

Even when the audience speaks English, they may not be able to understand
your accent.
Avoid idioms and slang and check with local residents to see if
you can be easily understood. You may have to adjust your normal rate of
delivery and style.

Make $5500 or more every time you speak....

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