Presenting at a translation conference can be quite intimidating, but more than that it’s an extremely rewarding experience.
Presenting at a translation conference can be quite intimidating, but more than that it’s an extremely rewarding experience. If this is something you’re considering doing, here’s our advice on how to deliver an interesting and effective presentation. Don’t let your shyness prevent you from making your presentation because this is the perfect way of increasing your name recognition: you’ll also have the opportunity to share your translation knowledge, and you’ll be forced to research new topics while you’re preparing your presentation. So, much to be gained! Every translator should make it their goal to deliver at least one presentation, just for the experience of it.
Be Very Sure of Your Topic
The topic you choose should be one you’re very comfortable with. In fact, you should be a little more than just comfortable with your topic, it should be one that you’re an expert at. Some of these conferences have between one and two thousand attendees, and there will be experts in the audience. This is not meant to scare you off, it’s meant to encourage you to become an expert in your particular topic.
Do lots of preparation for your presentation. Most of us have heard gifted public speakers and we’ve also heard adequate public speakers, but what’s horrible is watching a speaker trying to ad lib., fumbling through folders of papers, and not being prepared with their slides. It’s perfectly acceptable to write out a complete script covering everything you want to say, because, yes, you are going to be nervous if this is your first presentation, so you’ll need your script to refer to. In addition, you could also prepare a dot-point list of topics, which may be more helpful than writing out the entire script.
It’s Your Show!
Remember that, while you’re making your presentation, you’ll be running the show. Work out if you want people to ask questions during your presentation, or whether you’d prefer to answer them all at the end. Answering questions during your presentation may take you off-topic, which could be distracting for you.
Repeat All Questions
When someone in the audience asks you a question, repeat the question to ensure that everyone understands what you’re talking about. Repeating the question won’t be instinctive for you, but you must remember that some people in the audience may not hear the original question, which means that your detailed answer will just be confusing.
Make a Note of Your Finishing Time
If you’re a little bit nervous about making your presentation, it can be difficult to remember how much time you have left. Our suggestion is that you write the ending time for your presentation on your hand or on your wrist.
Leave Your Business Cards Out
There may be people in the audience who would like to contact you after your presentation. We suggest you leave some of your business cards in a prominent place in the conference room. It’s very rewarding for speakers to receive emails and/or phone calls from people who enjoyed their presentation, and of course, they may have something specific they wish to ask you about. Of course, this also works in reverse: after you’ve attended a translation conference and there were some presenters you really enjoyed, why not contact them by email and offer some positive feedback? They’ll really appreciate your time!