• Katharina Gruber

4 Effective Tips For Better Conference Interpretation

When a business plans to host a conference or webinar to deliver critical information to prospects, clients, or employees, albeit in a language that’s not well understood by the participants, they will need competent event interpretation services. After all, getting the intended message across successfully and efficiently would be the difference between having a successful event and one that’s simply unproductive, to say the least.

When you plan to work as a conference interpreter, your goal would be to deliver a high-quality performance. Here are four effective tips to help you handle your interpretation tasks successfully:

  1. Prepare well: Whether you need to do on-site interpretation or remote simultaneous interpretation, you should prepare well by using preparation materials, if any, provided to you. You could also do some research on your own to build a glossary of commonly used terms, phrases, etc. in the context of the job at hand or the industry/domain to which the parties belong to. Being aware of the most recent developments in the field at the national and international level would be an added advantage.

  2. Take care of your voice and focus on clear communication: Your voice is the key tool for delivering high-quality conference interpretation. Thus, it becomes important to take good care of your vocal cords. As you prepare for D-Day, you should invest time in a couple of exercises like reading aloud and recording your voice followed by listening to it to ensure your pronunciation is on target. Your goal will be to interpret accurately and clearly with adequate volume. It’s advisable to rest your vocal cords well the night before the conference. During the conference, you should ensure adequate intake of water, thus keeping yourself properly hydrated. Additionally, you shouldn’t force your voice while speaking since you’re already given the microphones. Maintaining a good posture during the conference is equally important as it will facilitate proper breathing, thus giving greater clarity and strength to your voice.

  3. Become familiar with the associated culture: The languages you’re interpreting from and to may be associated with certain cultures and customs that you should be familiar with. For example, there could be certain customs in particular regions that dictate ways you should address a person or conduct yourself during a business meeting. Knowing the proper way to interact or conduct yourself in line with a custom is a skill that you can learn and master as it will add to your proficiency for the task. Even when your job doesn’t involve direct interaction with the official members, being aware of their culture and customs will help you to correctly interpret what is being said.

  4. Learn to concentrate and work in a team: As an interpreter, your unwavering attention needs to be on the speaker continuously. Since lengthy conferences (typically lasting for over an hour) usually involve two interpreters to ensure the professionals aren’t overburdened, you must learn to share the workload and function as a team. Be it taking notes, looking for terms and glossaries to support your partner, or taking over the task of interpretation every 20-30 minutes to give your partner’s brain a rest, you should be well-versed in teamwork and take responsibility for maintaining continuity of interpretation.

Last but not the least is to continue with your practice. While some people have innate skills (related to language, diction, voice, etc.) that are essential for interpretation, some others need to acquire and hone them with a lot of practice and perseverance. Irrespective of whichever category you belong to, you should put time and effort to hone your skills that will help you to work as a successful interpreter at conferences.

If you want to learn more about our interpretation services, talk to us at 512.571.2296 or drop a line at

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