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6 Tips for the International Business Traveller and Presenter

In today’s rapidly changing global economy professionals are increasingly challenged to present their organisations products, services and ideas internationally. That presents a brilliant business opportunity for growth of course but there are a number of key communication differences presenters need to be aware of. What works in the UK or the U.S doesn’t necessarily work so well in other cultures, and there and a vast number of nuances wherever you travel to.

At Mindful Presenter we help companies both in the UK and internationally to understand those all important cultural difference so that they can deliver their message with the appropriate impact anywhere in the world.

As you conclude your last minute preparation for your presentation in your hotel thousands of miles away from home here are a few tips to help you make the impact you have travelled so far to make in the morning.

International Business Traveller

  1. Slow down

Speaking at your normal pace regardless of the country you are presenting in isn’t very wise. For example, the UK and U.S may prefer a slightly faster pace Asians tend to prefer a slower one allowing them more time to process information.

  1. Be careful with humour

Whilst you may be funny at home it doesn’t necessarily follow that your sense of humour will be appreciated by other cultures. Be careful and cautious with the level of humour you use in other countries paying the utmost respect for what may or may not work for them just because it works for you.

International Business Traveller

  1. Understand that they will respond differently

Different cultures will respond quite differently to your presentation so don’t expect the same response wherever you go.

For example when I worked in Japan, I learned very quickly that it is common for your audience to show their concentration by nodding the heads, which looks as though they are agreeing with you.

It may mean no such thing.

  1. Get rid of the slang

As much as you may like it yourself using jargon and slang which may work for you at home may be completely lost on your audience. Do you really want them to ‘go the extra mile’ and go for the ‘low hanging fruit’?

  1. Personal space and eye contact

Eye contact, gestures and movement may also work for you on your home ground but could easily be considered offensive in another country so do your homework first.

  1. Learn a few words

Learn a few words in the language of the country you are presenting in, at the very least to welcome your audience in their own language.

Let’s be a little more specific and look at a few countries you may be invited to present in.

In the Middle East

Be creative, eloquent and help your audience to use their imagination.

Don’t read from a script or slides

Make good eye contact

Have a clear structure

Avoid being over technical or abstract

Be honest and enthusiastic

International Business Traveller

In China

Respect seniority

Adopt a humble and modest tone

Give them a clear outline

Don’t be ‘loud’

Make it clear how you can help them

Save questions for the end

Don’t give them too many options

In France

Avoid speaking down to them

Don’t be superficial, be specific

Have a logical argument

Let them get to know you

Be well mannered and cultured

Try to speak a little French

Be honest with your opinions

In Germany

Be professional

Have an agenda

Don’t try to flatter them

Be an expert

Given them detail

Avoid too many analogies

In India

Quote relevant experts

Use stories, anecdotes and metaphors

Be tactful

Don’t read to them

Be humble

Be creative

International Business Traveller

In Italy

Give them solid examples

Repeat key messages or important points

Have an open and lively Q&A

Don’t criticize anyone

Not too much theory

Have a loose not rigid structure

In Japan

Have a clear outline and agenda

Avoid surprises

Know and understand them – do your homework

Be polite

Avoid humour

Don’t be loud or pushy

In the Netherlands

Be well organised and have a clear structure

Show them something new

Have a sense of humour

Be interesting and interested

Don’t be dull

Avoid too much detail