Are you speaking at an upcoming meeting or event with simultaneous interpretation? Make sure you follow the tips below to make your intervention shine.
For your convenience, we have broken the tips down into four key moments:
What you need to know about simultaneous interpretation
If it's your first time speaking with simultaneous interpretation, let us run you through some facts that are important for you to know:
In simultaneous interpreting, the speaker makes a speech and the interpreter reformulates the speech into a language his audience understands at the same time. Simultaneous interpreters simultaneously listen, analyze and reproduce the message in the target language.
Because simultaneous interpretation is one of the most stressful occupations in the world, simultaneous interpreters always work in pairs (also called booth partners). In order to mitigate high-stress levels and cognitive load, booth partners take turns every 15-20 minutes.
Let's get started with our housekeeping video, which shows you, in under one minute, the most essential tips for speakers at multilingual meetings:
What is simultaneous interpretation? →
Housekeeping video in different languages →
A few days before the meeting
1. Check your browser, Zoom, or MS Teams for updates.
Make sure you have the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge installed on your computer, and stay clear of Safari, as it doesn’t deal well with audio and video transmission.
If you're joining on a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, check for updates to ensure you have the latest version installed on your computer.
2. Share preparation materials with the interpreters.
Any material you can share with the interpreters before the event day helps them prepare. This can include your presentation, a draft speech, a list of terms that are very specific to your organization or speech, or a list of unusual names that will be mentioned during the speech.
The more detailed information interpreters have, the easier it will be for them to become the best ambassadors of your speech.
And don’t worry, both Interprefy and the interpreters assigned for your event are bound to strict Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), so your information is safe with us.
Is your speech pre-recorded?
You cannot make it and you are sending a recording of your speech? Make sure you play the video at regular speed, and if you are including other content like videos or sound clips, check these have a similar volume to your speech and that there aren’t any peaks in sound that could disturb the listeners, including interpreters.
3. Check your devices
- Connect via laptop or desktop computer. Avoid connecting via smartphone or tablet, to mitigate risks of compromised video quality and connection issues.
- Connect your computer via Ethernet / LAN cable. WIFI is prone to interference. Connecting your laptop via cable to your modem will minimize the risk of dropping off and even have a positive influence on the way you sound.
- Never use a built-in microphone. Choose a quality headset, or, if you have access to one, even a tabletop microphone. Using your laptop’s or webcam’s built-in microphone will make you sound robotic, echoey, distorted, or worse for others and for the interpreter, who will be struggling to understand.
Guide to choosing the best headset →
Guide to choosing the right microphone →
Sound quality tips for speakers in Connect Pro (video) →
If you would like a customized recommendation, please speak to your Interprefy Project Manager, who will be happy to assist.
On the day
You probably have a lot to deal with already, so we’ve made it simple with an easy checklist.
- Choose a quiet location. Remove external distractions and noise sources. For the unpredictable, how about a sign on your door to let others know you are in a meeting and should not be disturbed?
- Choose good lighting. Make sure the room has enough light, preferably natural light. Sit facing your light source.
- Keep your laptop plugged in. Check the power cable is connected to your computer.
- Plug in your LAN cable or choose the best-quality and closest Wi-Fi you have available.
- Test your headset or microphone using our test page, where you can even record yourself and play it back.
- Prepare a plan B. Most issues in online meetings are related to sound or networks. It is therefore a good idea to have a backup headset just in case, as well as a plan B if your connection fails, such as a hotspot from your phone’s internet connection.
Pre-call test page - test your audio and video quality and connection →
1 hour before the meeting
Now is the time for a last-minute check:
- Ensure computer performance. Close any unnecessary apps and tabs on your computer.
- Disable notifications. If you must keep other apps open, make sure all notifications are off. The same goes for your phone. To be on the safe side, we recommend turning Airplane mode on.
- Double-check your audio device settings. Whether you are on Interprefy or on any other platform, make sure your audio device is selected.
During the meeting
Is this the first time you are being interpreted in another language? Follow these tips to make your multilingual presentation a success:
- Speak slowly. Speak a little bit slower than you normally would, especially if you are reading from a script.
- Stay muted until your intervention, so the mic doesn’t pick up any unwanted sounds.
- Don't talk over others. If the speaker before you speaks a different language, wait a few seconds before you start, to allow interpreters to finish translating their message.
- Sharing a video? Ensure consistent sound. If you are presenting a video or a sound clip, check it has a good volume and it doesn’t have any peaks in sound that could disturb the listeners, including interpreters.
- Avoid wordplay / hard-to-translate jokes. Insofar as possible, avoid making jokes or wordplays, as they may not have a direct conversion into another language and be lost on your non-English speaking audience.
If you follow the steps and checklists above, nothing should stand in the way of your speech being successfully interpreted in another language. If you require any help or have any questions, feel free to reach out to your Interprefy Project Manager at any time.