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Public Speaking Training Tips For Better Business Presentations To Culturally Diverse Audiences


Audiences around the world are all different. Cultural, social and religiousdifferences impact on how people learn, take in information and interactwith presenters.

After delivering 3 presentations to 1,200 Managers and Franchisees from thelargest fast food company in the Philippines, these are my thoughts on howto make an impact with culturally diverse audiences.

This is the result of extensive feedback and practical knowledge of whatworks and what doesn't after delivering business presentations throughoutAsia.

Here are 10 Tips on Delivering Better Business Presentations to AsianAudiences.

1. Do Your Research. Find out as much as you can about the country andorganisation you are working with. Read guidebooks, travel magazines,search the Internet and use the local media to gain as much knowledge as youcan about the cultural background and history of the people you are workingwith.

2. Use local language and key phrases as an icebreaker, welcome or tohighlight important points. Modify the content of your presentation toaccount for local differences. For example, in my work in the Philippines Iused a range of local 'Tagalog' (one of the two official languages) words inboth my welcome and presentation to make points and this went down reallywell. Former US President JFK used "Ich bin ein Berliner" to great effect inGermany during one of his speeches.

3. Use local examples. Nothing goes down better when trying to explain a newconcept than using a local example. This will make your presentation morerelevant.

4. Get to know the audience. It is most likely you will be a foreigner andmany in the audience may not know you very well at all. Meet as many peoplepersonally before the presentation as possible. When presenting let theaudience warm up to you before throwing questions at them. I've noticedlight-hearted bantering with the audience at the beginning of a presentationworks well.

5. Speak slowly and clearly. For many Asians, English is not their firstlanguage. Speak with less of an accent and present more slowly than youwould with an Australian audience.

6. Use of Visual Aids. Again, because of language barriers back-up yourverbal message with clear and easy to understand visual aids.

7. Use Humour. This tried and true method works across cultural boundaries.Use universal humour and avoid material that is country specific and notrelevant. Never ever use inappropriate humour in any situation.

8. Physically involve the audience. Most audiences, no matter what culturalbackground, tend to switch off after 20 minutes of information from thepresenter. Use a physical activity or interaction to keep the audience awakeand alert. One word of warning though, don't try this at the beginning whenthey haven't got to know you.

9. Cut out some content. You will be speaking more slowly and spending timegetting to know the audience and interacting with them. This will take timeand you will need to cut out some content. Otherwise the presentation willbe rushed. I find with most presenters, nearly all put too much content intheir presentations.

10. Evaluate, review and continually improve. I never stop learning.Every time I speak in front of an audience, I always learn something new.Presenting to audiences outside of your comfort zone is always a challenge.Be prepared to learn, improve and be a better presenter.

Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.

You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com.


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