Business interpreters are savvy beings. They marry language skills with the art of negotiation, diplomacy, and etiquette. They can help you ace your meeting objectives like strike a new deal or negotiate better prices.
Are you in charge of organizing your next multilingual business meeting? Follow these five simple steps, and you can put the champagne in the icebox. We guarantee your meeting will be a success.
1. Talk to your participants
“Lost in translation” doesn’t happen when you have an interpreter in a multilingual meeting. It happens when you ask non-native speakers to express themselves in a language other than their own.
Give your overseas participants the chance to speak in their language with the help of a business interpreter. You’ll be surprised to see how many people will accept the offer. Better still, compile a list of language variants. Your business partners from Montreal most likely use a different business jargon than they do in Paris.
2. Plan for extra time
With simultaneous interpreting, the timing remains unaffected. If you use a liaison interpreter, your meeting will take twice longer. Sometimes, the language expert will need to reword or clarify. Especially if you express a concept that isn’t easy to explain in the target language. Don’t fall into the trap of seeing your participants disconnect in the middle of a great discussion just because you underestimated the time needed.
If your meeting agenda compiles to an hour’s worth of discussion, plan double.
3. Choose an business interpreter with experience in your industry
Good business interpreting isn’t just about knowing two languages well. Healthcare industry, automotive, insurance sectors: they each contain a plethora of industry-specific terms. That’s why many interpreters specialize in a few fields over time.
Ask your language partner to find a business interpreter with subject-matter expertise. That way, you’ll both be concentrating on the important stuff: the meeting’s objectives, not the glossary.
4. Prep your business interpreter
We can’t stress this point enough. Even if you get an interpreter who knows your business well, spend some time on prepping. Send your language agency the agenda and any presentations you will use during your meeting. Explain your objectives. Share insights on the history of your relationship with your business partner. Answer any questions you might be getting from the interpreter.
Your business interpreter is your aide, not a talking box.
5. Meeting’s online? Here’s some extra advice
Most of our meetings have switched to remote in the last few months. Is yours happening over a video call, too? Pen these few tips down:
- Ask the attendees to join from a quiet place. Your business interpreter has a tough job to do. Trucks in the background won’t help.
- Ask everyone to turn on the camera. Gestures, eye movement, facial expressions often reveal more than the words themselves. Give your business interpreter the chance to catch these non-utterances.
- Make sure everyone has a good internet connection. Don’t let freezes and cutoffs sink your meeting.
- Keep your business discussions confidential. Choose a secure interpreting platform. Don’t know which? Head over here. Or call us to learn all about our secure online interpreting platform.