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How to engage your international audience

Updated: Mar 1

Presenting to an #international #audience is hugely rewarding but when your listeners have different levels of English you need to prepare well so that everybody feels engaged and inspired. I've given talks to people from all over the world. Here are some of my tried and tested tips.




Tip #1 - know your audience


Do some research about your potential audience. Try to find out from the event organiser who will be at your talk. What do they do and what is their field of interest, are useful questions to consider. This is the first step to connecting with them and will help you tailor your message and avoid unintentional cultural misunderstandings.


Tip #2 - adapt your language


If English isn't the first language for some, or all, of your audience, consider the #pace of your presentation. Adjusting your speed from the start and #adding #pauses instills confidence among the listeners in you as a speaker. Avoid complex #questions and #figurative #language that may be difficult. Think about how you can #paraphrase expressions so that they are simpler and clearer.


Tip #3 - use visual aids


Any #visual #aids such as charts, graphs and images can help your audience understand information. However, make sure that you give your audience time to look at the visuals especially if there is also written information on the slide. Allow time for them to read captions or text instead of talking over the top.


Tip #4 - Be careful with numbers and acronyms


If you're presenting #statistics, remember these can be confusing. For example, 13% can sound the same as 30%, 14% the same as 40% etc. Long numbers are easily misunderstood, too. Individual letters in #acronyms might also sound similar, for example, S and F, P and D. If using an acronym for the first time, say the individual words, eg ETA - expected time of arrival.


Tip #5 - consider your body language


#Non-verbal #communication can vary across cultures so be careful of #facial #expressions and hand gestures. Check what is suitable for your audience. Having said that, try to stay relaxed and smile as you look around the audience but avoid #eye #contact if that isn't culturally appropriate.


Tip #6 -read your audience


Depending on the size of your room and number of people in the audience, look around as much as you can. Can you see who you is #engaged and #focused? If some people don't seem as attentive as others, maybe you're speaking too fast for them. An international audience might need more time to read your slides, #process what you're saying or to take more notes. They might also be conferring with others if they can't follow the presentation or need clarification.


tip # 7- BE PATIENT WITH questions and feedback


Allow time to encourage #feedback and requests for #clarification. Give the audience a few minutes to consider questions in pairs so that they don't feel they have to ask something on their own. This can be challenging.


tip # 8-Limit small talk and humour


Don't stray off topic too much. You want to be friendly but small talk and humour is often full of #unclear #language and #cultural #references that can exclude your audience.


Presenting to an international audience can be very rewarding. It offers the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and to share experiences. I hope these eight tips you help you to engage and involve your international audience.

Good luck with your presentation!

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