Talking Points

A camera crew came to film my lecture at UCLA Extension, where I was speaking to an impressive, but jet-lagged group of Korean businessmen and one businesswoman from the digital entertainment industry. My topic: The Best Practices of the World’s Most Successful Interactive Brands. With concurrent translation, rather than simultaneous, I had to choose my words carefully – because the time is cut in half.

Group Photo

What happens is this: I deliver about a paragraph’s worth of material and then the translator gives that portion of my speech again. It certainly gives me time to reflect on what I’m saying – and make sure I giving only the most golden of gold nuggets. The craziest part is when I tell a joke. I deliver a funny story, but the audience stays mostly silent. Then, the translator re-tells it and gets uproarious laughter. It proves that what I think is funny crosses cultural divides – so I’m glad somebody got laughs.

Nidi Batra, my marketing manager at NAX Partners (, had gotten much of the PowerPoint and materials translated into Korean – including a massive glossary about web-based marketing and content development. The audience was truly delighted.

When you are speaking in any business meeting, presentation or conversation: consider that plain old hospitality is the best way to win hearts and minds. You really want to do what it takes to make people feel comfortable. If you must use jargon, then explain what you mean in simple terms. And, deliver content in bites that people can digest – and interact on.

Take the initiative and do more than what’s asked. I’ve never gone the extra mile for someone else, without that effort putting me further along my own path to success.

What can you prepare for your next meeting that will delight your audience?

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