(click for all of Ira's posts)
(click for all of Duane's posts)
(click for all of our posts from guest authors)
- Body Language and Gestures,
- Career Development,
- Customer Service,
- Elevator Speech or Mission Statement,
- Human Behavior,
- Marketing Communications,
- Messaging and Content Development,
- Networking and Relationship Building,
- Professional Speaking,
- Sales or Outreach,
- Series - Presentation Reviews,
- Social Media,
- Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship,
Ira Koretsky, The Chief Storyteller, has delighted audiences around the world turning communications into tangible, top-line results. From your elevator speech to your presentations, proposals, website, capability statement, and everything in between, Ira develops and implements high impact strategic messaging programs. With 23 years of experience, he is a sought-after speaker, consultant, columnist, trainer, and professor. Follow him on Twitter @chiefstorytellr.
The other day, Geetesh Baraj, PowerPoint MVP and Manager of the "PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff" LinkedIn Group posted the following question to the group. My suggestions follow below...
Creating Slides for Multi-Lingual Audiences
I am researching a blog post topic -- since it is still being researched, anything mentioned below is not set in stone. I am open to all your thoughts and the scenario and the suggestions can be broadly changed as required.
Here is the scenario, and as I said, this is a broad definition that can be changed:
1. You need to create slides for a multi-lingual audience.
2. Everyone in the audience understands English to some extent, but they are not necessarily fluent in the language.
3. The presentation needs to distributed later to audience members -- and some others who were not present at the actual event.
4. Before distribution, the presentation may need to be translated to other languages -- this means that there needs to be some basic amount of text.
What are your thoughts about the use of:
1. Story / Outline: How deep should this be? Should the depth level be low -- will that compromise the content?
2. Text: What level of simplification?
3. Visuals: Should pictures replace text, or complement it?
4. Design and Color: What works best?
I've pondered this several years ago before I started presenting internationally. I have had the honor of conducting programs in 8 countries with six trips involving simultaneous translation. Here are some questions and suggestions.
1. How knowledgeable is the audience? Without knowing your answer, in general, I suggest ~30 to 50% reduction in complexity and content
2) The broad brush suggestion is to translate the presentation and handouts in advance. Bring your own version matched page-for-page with the translated version
3) Find people through your network whom have done business, worked in, or lived in the country/region and solicit feedback
4) Localize--always. For color, fonts, pictures, graphs, words, humor, etc. Some seemingly small things could actually backfire and you may never even know it
5) Consider an appendix or handouts with tips, examples, and how-to's
6) Solicit feedback from the audience afterward. Be gentle as you probe, as some cultures are not forthcoming with what they deem criticism of the speaker
One of our blog readers emailed me to let me know that Matt of "Where the Hell is Matt?" fame had a new video. I posted a blog in August of 2006 sharing a bit of background on Matt. This was before his three other videos and as it calls it, his "not-entirely-un-famous" status.
Once you read the About Matt page, you will really appreciate the storytelling behind his videos. The accompanying music in the 2012 video is fantastic. I even "Bought" the video from his home page despite being able to find it on the Internet. Why? Because Matt started out and I still think through today, to be genuinely selfless. He is honest, his videos reflect this, and the worldwide enjoyment is testament to his beliefs. With all of the messaging and organizations touting story this and story that, I truly believe the absolute genuine stories will be the ones that stand out.
Here is an excerpt from his About page:
He mostly just danced in front of iconic landmarks, but along the way he went to a country called Rwanda, and since there aren't any landmarks in Rwanda that you'd want to dance in front of, instead he just went to a small village and danced with a bunch of kids. The kids joined him immediately and without hesitation. That ended up being the best thing that happened to him on the trip. The kids taught him that people are a whole lot more interesting than old landmarks and monuments.
Matt went back to Stride and told them he did it all wrong and they needed to send him around the planet again. They said, "Okay," and in 2008 he put out another video that showed thousands of people laughing, smiling, and goofing around together. It took him five years and three tries, but he finally got it right that time.
Where the Hell is Matt 2005 video ~3,000,000 views
Where the Hell is Matt 2006 video ~18,300,000 views
Where the Hell is Matt 2008 video ~45,500,000 views
Where the Hell is Matt 2012 video ~9,700.000 views
Recently I purchased an item from the online Disney Store. A few days after delivery the email pictured below, arrived.
Here is the text of the email:
Title: THANK YOU FAIRY MUCH
How can we make it even better?
We want to hear all those thoughts flying around about how we can make your DisneyStore.com experience the best ever. Please fill out a brief survey - it will help us make sure that your experience was everything you wished for.
It will only take a few minutes of your time and no one will see your answers but us.
Thank you for your purchase. And thank you for letting us know what you think!
It about 80 words or ~15 seconds to skim/read Disney gets across a) They care; b) My time is valuable; and c) Brand consistency. On the bottom of the email, you can see all of the social media links, sign-up for the newsletter, and event alerts. Very well done.
I remind people that networking is hard. It is like a big blind date for professionals. And you should expect lots of no's and few yes's. I always quote Richard Bolles in "What Color Is Your Parachute?" "Think of every "no" as bringing you one step closer to a "yes."
During a recent "how to networking" program" I was asked one of the more frequent question, "How do I know if I should exit a conversation?"
Here are five sure-fire indicators that your conversation partner is ready to move on. He/she...
1. Stops asking questions. This is a direct way of letting you know. The awkwardness alone makes you cringe. Exit quickly.
2. Starts glancing around frequently. Many people do not realize they are doing this. This is not an absolute, more of an indicator as your conversation partner may be looking for a specific person.
3. Stops smiling. This is generally an unconscious way of displaying disinterest. It could also indicate the person is unsure of how to proceed or may need further explanation on something you just said.
4. Shifts weight from foot-to-foot or side-to-side. Another generally unconscious way of showing you disinterest. Most of the time this body language is clear, time to exit.
5. Introduces you to someone else. If you are introduced to someone else quickly, there are two reasons...a hand-off (read "get rid of you") or an in the moment referral. Based on the conversation thus far, it should be easy to know which reason.
I was at an all-day conference a few days ago. Each of the sessions was a panel. During the second session, one panelist said "That's a great question." Then it became a contagious virus. The second panelist said "That's a great question." And of course, the third panelist followed. Subsequently, EVERY single question was followed by "That's a great question" or something very close. The woman next to me leaned over and said, "I bet that's a great question" and we both laughed and cringed.
This prompted me to write the Tip of Week with the same title. I included the tip below...
Saying “That’s a great question,” detracts from your credibility, no matter what. If you are like some, you use it all the time hoping to make everyone feel positive about asking questions. In this case, no one feels special as it is used every time. And by the third or so time you use it, “great question” sounds disingenuous.
If you say it occasionally, then you alienate those that did not receive a “great question” response…immediately.
Instead, remain neutral throughout your time with your audience. Respond and acknowledge points without tipping the emotional balance.
Here are a few suggested responses after receiving a question:
- Thank you for your question
- Please (and gesture/point to the person encouraging him/her to begin talking)
- Thank you for asking that question
- Yes (and gesture/point to the person encouraging him/her to begin talking)