How Interpreters Give Compelling Speeches

How Interpreters Give Compelling Speeches

Making a compelling speech in front of a large audience is not easy even in your mother tongue let alone in a foreign language.

In my role I do not make my own speeches but rather I interpret what my clients say. But nonetheless, just like the speech writer, I find myself speaking in front of important people albeit using the words of others. There might be jokes or sayings and proverbs etc. which might be difficult to interpret. If the speaker has given me his written speech in advance, it will be slightly easier, but if it is not the case I have got to listen carefully and take notes in front of people. This can be quite nerve racking.

One day somebody gave me a microphone in the middle of my note-taking during the speech, he meant to be kind, but I only have two hands and I cannot hold a pen and notebook and a microphone at the same time. I might be nervous in front of people and I would rather have no microphone. I need to flip my notebook during my interpretation. There are many factors which might interrupt my concentration such as a pen suddenly not working or not hearing the speaker well because of the acoustics in the room or background noise. We must be aware of all these eventualities. In the end it is the interpreters who have to learn how to make a speech. The importance of the body language, eye contact, employing the right words and structure of the sentences, having a confident attitude etc. just like what is expected of any good speaker.

I cannot be an interpreter for a mayor, president of the company or any other important person without looking confident myself. One day I visited an UK company with my clients near London and they gave a presentation where I interpreted without having an advanced copy of the speech. A combination of the skills I had learnt as an interpreter and through research on the company and reading their website made it possible. I was able to appear with confidence just the persons giving the speech. I’m glad to say that they were satisfied and sent a special thanks to me via my clients after we left their company.  As they say “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”.