Chairing multilingual meetings

Facilitate smooth communication among speakers and participants by optimizing use of interpreters when available.

Facilitate smooth communication among speakers and participants by optimizing use of interpreters when available.

At the start of the meeting, go over the basics: which languages may be spoken, which languages translation will be provided into, and on which channels.

Microphones

Remind speakers to use the microphone at all times if simultaneous interpretation is provided. Even if the audience can hear without a microphone, the interpreters can't.

Demonstrate correct microphone use: no waving, no looking away, and maintaining an appropriate distance between speaker and microphone.

Make your session internationally interactive

Remind the audience to collect headsets even if all the official speakers at your session speak a language they understand. Speakers may need them too. This gives everyone a chance to participate. Avoid your meeting being interrupted by half the participants getting up to collect headsets when the first foreign-language speaker intervenes.

Share any concerns about culturally sensitive issues with the interpreters: give and get feedback. If there is a particular purpose to your meeting or session, let them know – keep them in the loop.


Recommended citation format:
AIIC. "Chairing multilingual meetings". aiic.net. June 26, 2012. Accessed January 19, 2017. <http://aiic.net/p/6227>.