If you are speaking at a multilingual meeting you obviously want everybody to understand what you are saying. Here are some tips on how to ensure optimum communication:
(Reproduced with kind permission of Benoît Cliquet, aiic)
Interpreting is not about words - it is about communicating ideas. So if the interpreter can be given an advance copy of your manuscript (or notes) he or she can prepare to put your ideas across. If you have material in several languages - all the better! Of course it will be treated confidentially and returned afterwards if you wish.
It is helpful to have a briefing session with speakers and interpreters to answer questions and clarify matters before the session starts.
If you are showing slides or videos during your talk please make copies available to the interpreters - the booths are often so far from the screen that it helps if they can have their own copies.
Keep the interpreters in mind and try to speak slowly, loudly and clearly.
If you are reading your speech, remember you will tend to speak faster than when you speak freely. The interpreters - and your audience - will be grateful if you do not speed through your manuscript too quickly.
Check your microphone is working before you start - but please don't tap it, as the interpreters' ears will suffer!
Don't stand too close to the microphone and keep your own headphones well clear, as there can otherwise be acoustic feedback. Remember to make all your remarks into the microphone - otherwise they will be lost. If you are going to be turning to the screen to comment on slides, it is worth using a lapel or body mike.
Keep your own headphones nearby in case a question from the floor comes in a foreign language and you need to listen to the interpretation.
Remember that interpretation is always a second or two behind the original - so don't move on to the next slide too quickly and if you address someone in the audience, give them time to listen to the interpretation before they respond.