With the coronavirus pandemic forcing us interpreters to stay indoors and opt for remote simultaneous interpreting instead, I’ve learned a lot about interpreting from home.
It’s all in the tiny details.
I hope you’ll find this article useful!
Don’t gamble with poor wi-fi
Fast internet. It’s all something we take for granted really, but without it, we go to pieces. Well, I know I do! The thing is, poor internet connection can still happen, so you should definitely prepare for it. Prior to the event, I always make sure I do the relevant speed tests and keep the Ethernet cable at the ready.
We can’t afford to leave our clients hanging on or postpone the meeting, so make sure you do everything you can!
What you can also try is having a backup connection if available.
Things don’t always go as planned
Prepare for the unexpected! Having been in the industry for well over 20 years, this is a lesson I’ve learned well. It’s life after all, and even the most prepared and well-organised events don’t always go the way you want them to — sorry!
Let’s say your colleague in the virtual booth is experiencing technical issues. The show must go on. Take a deep breath (just not through the mic!) and continue interpreting. Your colleague will get assistance in no time and if possible, they will be back very soon.
Make use of the mute button
As wonderful as it is being able to spend quality time with family at home, I’ve found that it can make for some disruptive background noise in my virtual calls – just like it’s the case in our traditional interpreting booth.
As much as I love my neighbours, I’m sure my clients don’t want to hear their personal conversations over coffee — which they tend to have regularly outside my window.
So take advantage of the mute button whenever noise crops up.
Bolster up your background
Take a good look at what’s behind you and what your clients and colleagues will see over a virtual meeting. Your bizarre Zoom background, for instance, might not be the ideal background for your professional meetings.
During the lockdown, I’ve finally got around to ordering my books in the library and so now my background looks neat, tidy and organized. Plus, it makes me look extra smart! Just make sure you put your most intellectual books at the front.
Invest in your image
And by image, I don’t mean spending hours doing your hair and makeup as if you were going to a party. 😉
I mean, make sure that the image you present to your clients and colleagues on the call is one of professionalism.
For example, position your camera so that it is shoulder level. People want to talk to a face — your face. Make sure they can see you well and that you look presentable. Remember they can see your facial expressions too!
Good lighting also helps to look professional. You really don’t have to spend much, but even just a basic ring light can drastically improve the quality of your video.
If you need to use Remote Simultaneous Interpreting (RSI) at your next digital meeting, many platforms provide this service.
One of the platforms we use for multilingual conferencing nowadays is… KUDO! It’s a web conferencing platform where live translation can be provided in multiple languages at the same time.
Are you KUDO certified too?
You should be…
Thank you to @Ewandro and @Fardad the KUDO team for your excellent service.
I highly recommend KUDO for hosting online multilingual meetings.
From your board meetings to your virtual council, KUDO simplifies and speeds up the communication process.
Try it for yourself and remember the tips above to help you sail smoothly through your next video conference! 😊