Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Present Virtually to Non-Native Speakers of English

When presenting over the phone or via webinar to people who are not fluent in English, your voice and choice of words become even more important than when delivering a presentation in person. 

Here are 6 strategies to ensure that you can be easily understood:

1.      Slow down.  Allow enough time for people to hear and understand your words. 

2.      Enunciate.  Leave spaces between your words, so your audience can figure out where one word ends and the next begins.

3.      Speak louder than usual.  Don’t shout, but make sure you can easily be heard, especially over the phone connection (which could be a cell phone, international landline or a voice-over-IP line).

4.      Reduce your use of idioms, jargon and slang, such as “drag your feet” or “batting a thousand.” Use commonly-used, literal words and simple sentence construction.

5.      Include more words on your documents or slides than I usually recommend, since it is often easier for people to read English than to comprehend spoken English.

6.      Consider sending written material ahead of time so they have an opportunity to get familiar with it before your presentation. 

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