CONCLUSION: EXTEMPORANEOUS REPORTS

Here are a few final recommendations that were provided by language translation workers to help you get the most out of your presentation.

Be Concise

Say what you came to say; then summarize and close- politely and on time. As one Spanish translator in Houston explained, don’t punctuate your speech with clever digressions that pop into your head. Unless a specific anecdote was part of your original plan to clarify a point or increase interest, avoid digressions. Remember that each of us often finds what we have to say more interesting than our listeners do.

Summarize

Before ending, take a moment to summarize the major points and to reemphasize anything of special importance.

Leave Time for Questions and Answers

As you begin, inform your audience that a question-and-answer period will follow. Announce a specific time limit (such as ten minutes) to avoid public debates. Then you can end the session gracefully without making anyone feel cut off or excluded from the discussion. A French translator in Washington D.C. suggests that if you can’t answer a question, say so, and move to the next question. End the session by saying “We have time for one more question,” or some similar limiting signal.

Plan and Practice

Planning and practice make oral reports effective. As in writing, control is central. On a basic level, just filling a page with words can be called writing. Similarly, the mere utterance of intelligible sounds can be called speaking. The effective speaker, however, communicates with confidence, sophistication, and purpose. As with all skills, practice- and more practice- makes perfect. Therefore, instead of avoiding public speaking opportunities, seek them out.

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