5 Steps to a Smooth Interpreting Session

May 24, 2021

Its been harder to develop or manage business operations in other countries through the pandemic. It’s a bit of a minefield to navigate with the current restrictions to travelling overseas and likely long term uncertainty, coupled with the latest Brexit rules.

Virtual meetings have become the primary way of staying in regular contact and conducting meetings. Many of us are now accustomed to conducting our business lives remotely. However, when you’re working with people who don’t speak the same language, being unable to see body language makes online conversations even more tricky. 

An interpreter in your meetings makes all the difference, but it’s a bit intimidating if you’ve never worked with one before.

So, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider to make it that bit easier for all parties.

1. Brief for the assignment correctly

You want to work with a language agency, or professional interpreter, who takes the time to get to know you and your business. Make sure you’re thorough and exacting with your requirements. The more information you can provide the greater chance you have with being matched with an appropriate interpreter.  For example, if you’re used to working on a particular meeting platform confirm your session will be carried out as expected. There’s nothing worse than discovering your provider has restrictions on which meeting platforms they’ll work with. 

2. Be well prepared

It sounds obvious, but plan out the content of your session thoroughly in advance. It’ll help you stay on track. You’ll have a significantly more productive meeting. Any good agency will happily share any preparatory documents or meeting agendas with your interpreter before your session. This is extremely helpful for interpreters to prepare too, especially if your meeting content contains sector specific vocabulary.

3. Give yourself extra time

When allocating time for your meeting, add a little extra. You’ll feel alot less pressure, and it can also give you an opportunity to converse with your interpreter before the session begins. Many agencies, including InterpretersPortal, will happily arrange a preparatory meeting with your interpreter if that is helpful for you.

4. Work with the same interpreter

If you’re going to be working with the same language in the future, it makes sense to ensure that you can book the same interpreter again. As with anything, building a relationship takes time and effort. The more you work with the same interpreters, the more comfortable and easier the process becomes. It’ll also save you time and money, because you won’t have to go through the full briefing process again. We always try to book the same interpreter for recurring sessions automatically for this reason.  

5. Ask for help

Bespoke language agencies have the ability to pair you with an interpreter who is experienced and capable of leading the session for you. It might be that you’re nervous of a new video conferencing platform? Or you’re unsure how to connect all members to your call? Either way speak to your language agency or interpreter about this. We’ve helped people make the transition to remote video conferencing by setting everything up for them. We’ve also had interpreters manage the meeting too. 

Reading even the most simple responses incorrectly can have significant consequences. For example – was that “Yes, I hear you” or “Yes, I understand”? You can easily come away from a meeting believing something has been agreed which actually wasn’t. 

Don’t guess with an interpreter on your call. Every InterpretersPortal service is built around our clients exacting needs. Every service is tailored to you, but without the hefty price you might be anticipating. Our aim is to deliver relaxed, stress free meetings where you know exactly what was agreed and everyone was clearly understood. 

Liliana was able to translate our meeting with our international client in an extremely helpful and professional manner. One of the best interpreters we have had the pleasure of working with to date making our telephone conversations a breeze. Nathan Wogman

Taylor Mammon

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