Top 10 Ways to Connect With Your International Audience

Jun 21, 2023 9:40 AM ET

The average person speaks no more than two languages. With organizations and businesses spreading their wings across borders, you’re likely to find yourself speaking in front of an international audience. Below we discuss how you can connect with such a diverse group of people and ensure that they understand your message loud and clear.

How to Communicate Effectively With an International Audience

The world has indeed become a global village, with people from all corners, nationalities, and races coming together to collaborate on various issues. A lot has been done to ensure that the language barrier is no longer a hindrance in such collaborations. To connect with an international audience, you need to utilize a blend of delivery techniques and technology to ensure that no one feels left out.

Speak Slowly

Let’s say that you’re an English speaker, and you happen to be speaking to an Italian audience. Chances are that only some of the Italians have a good understanding of the English language. You have to be deliberate with your delivery. Speak slowly and clearly so they can catch and understand every word. Keep your language as simple as possible without compromising the message.

Use Plain Language

When people are listening to a different language, they tend to translate directly. If you use figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, personification, and so on, the listeners will translate them into their language, and they’ll lose their meaning. All context flies out the window. For the sake of those with a limited understanding of the language, leave flowery language out.

Learn Some Local Phrases

Any audience will warm up to you at a whole new level when you make an effort to speak in their language. Greet the listeners and introduce yourself in the local language. Just a few sentences will do; they’ll be a great way to break the ice. Throw in some more phrases throughout your presentation. You may ask some basic questions like “Do you understand?” or “Does anyone have a question?” Conclude with a local phrase as well, thanking the audience for their attention. The listeners will appreciate your willingness to learn their language, and this will help you connect at a deeper level.

Research the Culture

A message that will be well received in one culture may be inappropriate in another. Perhaps you come from the Western world, where anyone can question and criticize the government openly. In some parts of the world, speaking ill of the state is courting trouble. Should you find yourself in such a country, you need to steer clear of controversy even if you have dissenting opinions. Otherwise, you’ll make the audience uncomfortable and may never be part of an international panel again.

Use Numbered Points

Splitting up content into separate points makes it easier to understand. Your audience may not understand every single word you say, but with well-structured content, they’ll grasp the concept and idea. Formatted content also makes it easier for those taking notes.

Use Illustrations

Beat the language barrier with illustrations, pictures, graphs, charts, and so on. When making a PowerPoint presentation, using illustrations on your slides makes them easier to understand. They also go a long way in making your content more visually appealing.

Translate Your Points

Prepare your content in advance and translate it into the language or languages best understood by your audience. You’ll find many translation companies online that boost communication by offering Italian document translation services. You can even opt for a real-time translator that translates as you speak.

Use Subtitles

If an event organizer is projecting your talk on a screen, you can include subtitles. Here, you might need to utilize transcription services as well. However, you’ll need to source for real-time translators. They will cost more to hire. However, your audience will appreciate them.

Avoid Slang

Slang will easily confuse an audience that is not well-versed in your language. Informal words and phrases may be widely understood and appreciated in your culture but strange to others. Use clear formal language, which makes it easier for translators as well.

Leave a Copy

When people listen to a language that they’re not fully conversant with, a lot of details can slip by. Leave a hard or soft copy of your presentation so that individuals can go through it later at their own pace. They can transcribe or translate the content where necessary.

Final Word

Communicating with an international audience is no mean feat. With the pointers above, you can approach your next presentation with confidence. Once you master the art of connecting with an international audience, you can extend your influence to diverse parts of the world without dealing with language barriers. By sharing your knowledge across borders, you can establish yourself as an authority in your field and make your presence felt the world over.

Content Marketing, IPS, No PR, Wire, English