Learning to Present

Presenting and speaking before people – this is an integral part of consecutive interpreting

The impression to encounter a professional or non-professional interpreter is not only created by his or her interpreting performance.  The way and mode of presenting “his or her” speech during the act of interpreting, have a major influence on this impression.

When you are just beginning your interpreting career, you might still be a little bit afraid of speaking. But if you have no more worries about finally recognizing your notes or not being quick enough in your note taking, you will get rid of this fear after the first few interventions.

During a note taking course, you will learn how to represent and express your notes in a fluent manner and, in a pinch, whenever you should not manage to decode your notes downright, how to implement ‘emergency strategies’ that your audience does not even notice. This is important, because stumbling, hesitating and constantly focusing and staring at the notes – this makes the audience assume that the interpreter is not quite sure of his or her utterances.

On the way of a professional note taking and presentation performance, an interpreter also learns to abolish personal quirks and weird habits. What do I mean in saying this? As far as I am concerned, it took me quite a while indeed to reduce my “ums” or “uhs”. One of my fellow students at university was hopping up and down on her heels without noticing this. Others begin every sentence by saying: “Yes, well, …” In most cases, you are not aware of these things in your own behaviour. But once you have become aware of them, it is mostly not so difficult to avoid and eliminate them.