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Avoiding the "Oops!" in Presentations.

An American executive delivering a presentation to a non-U.S. audience cannot take a business-as-usual approach simply because those listening know the English language. To increase such an audience's ability to understand the presentation, the speaker would do well to follow the advice of Lionel Laroche, a cross-cultural trainer and consultant based in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. In a recent issue of Runzheimer International's newsletter, Laroche writes:

* Speak (slightly) more slowly than usual.

* Enunciate clearly, particularly technical words and numbers.

* Define all acronyms and abbreviations.

* Limit your vocabulary. Always use the same words to mean the same thing.

* Do not speak much louder than usual. (People interpret this as talking down to them.)

Laroche also advises thinking about the level of detail that will work well in the presentation, depending on the audience. Germans and Japanese are detail oriented, for example, and listen for technical terms.

And think twice before soliciting questions from the audience. While doing so is popular with Americans, the Japanese tend to prefer to stay silent while someone is speaking.

Finally, for the most part, it's best to forget about humor.
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Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2000
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