Use of the microphone
Stand or sit directly in front of the microphone, removing the headphones to avoid audio interference. The interpreters are in soundproof booths and will not be able to hear you if you move away from the microphone. It is advisable to wait for the end of the translation of the previous speaker before starting your own presentation.
Speak in your own native language
If the languages used at the event allow it, speak in your own native language. In this way you will be more at ease, your task will be easier, you will be better understood and will not have to be “retranslated” into your native language.
Speak at a reasonable speed
The audience, even those members with your native language, will have difficulty following you if you speak too quickly and in an agitated manner. Speaking at a normal speed will allow everyone, including the interpreters, to understand you better and appreciate your presentation.
An impromptu or extempore speech, with a list of points and multimedia supports, is easier for the audience to understand and for the interpreters to translate. If you only read a written text, the message might not be correctly received. Even people listening in the original language could have difficulties grasping all aspects of the message. If it is necessary to read a text, ensure that the interpreters have already received a copy. Each document given to the interpreters will be treated with maximum confidentiality and compared with the speaker’s words.
Quote the full form of acronyms
It is advisable to explain in full the meaning of any lesser known acronyms the first time they are mentioned. A list of these would be a useful reference document for the interpreters.
Pronounce numbers clearly
Numbers quoted hurriedly will be translated more correctly if they are pronounced clearly. If you intend to use complete lists of numbers, it is better to give these numbers to the interpreters beforehand, to use as reference.
Puns are very difficult to translate between different languages and cultures and it is recommended to avoid them. If you wish to use anecdotes, proverbs and metaphors, or to allude to football teams and politicians, it is a good idea to talk about this with the interpreters so that they can find a suitable solution.
When preparing for each assignment, the conference interpreters (simultaneous and consecutive) make a careful study of the contents and the technical terminology. It is therefore fundamental for them to have the material to be consulted in advance. If you have prepared a text, an abstract or a slide presentation, remember to supply a copy beforehand to the interpreters, who will treat your material with absolute confidentiality. If you know any specific websites, point them out. The interpreters will be grateful as this will enable them to do their job better.
Meeting the interpreters
Stop at the translators’ booths before the start of the working day. A short talk is always useful to get to know one another and exchange suggestions and information.