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Intercultural Business Communication


Presentations

WHAT IS A PRESENTATION? Consider the various levels of culture that could affect a presentation:

Etc. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS HAPPENING HERE ?

An international group of business people is listening to a sales presentation. The speaker takes off his jacket, starts with a quick joke and then follows the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple), illustrating his words with lively computer graphics. He invites the audience to interrupt with their questions and when they don't he smiles broadly at them and starts to ask them questions. Like all good presenters, so he thinks, he tells the audience what he is going to say, says it, and tells them what he has said. He keeps exactly to the 10 minutes allotted. The reaction of the audience is mixed: some are impressed, others feel unhappy with it.

WHAT IS A GOOD PRESENTATION? Does a good presentation make use of the following techniques? Consider why a culture might favor or disfavor each of these techniques. 1. Starting with a joke 2. Reading a written text 3. Involving the audience 4. Keeping to the time limit 5. Making the structure very clear 6. Providing the audience with handouts 7. Dressing formally 8. Looking serious 9. Only taking questions at the end of the presentation 10. Using visual aids
Anja Reicherstorfer | University of Applied Sciences

Intercultural Business Communication


Presentations 11. Summarizing what you have said at the end of the presentation 12. Telling anecdotes

Considering the barriers to communication we examined earlier in the semester, what problems could arise in givin a presentation to an international audience in the following areas? structure

content

delivery

timing

audience

dress

behavior

HOW WOULD YOU ALTER YOUR LANGUAGE FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE ?

Anja Reicherstorfer | University of Applied Sciences

Intercultural Business Communication


Presentations

A FEW GUIDELINES FOR GIVING A BUSINESS PRESENTATION TO AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE :

An example of one group's expectations: Marie-Thrse Claes writes French-speaking Belgians tend to see a presentation rather as the French do, in a polychronic and implicit way, with a set, albeit not explicit, structure. Language fluency is very important, and the right word should be used, according to the rules of classical rhetoric. The aesthetic aspect of the presentation is more important than the structure of the content. A presentation should be a logical progression, based on large philosophical or ideological ideas. The importance of the content, of what is being said, lies in the way it is presented: one's objective is not to be clear and simple, but to be creative and provoking, to make the audience think and reason. Body language is considered to be part of the presentation, and presenters are usually advised to limit the amount of gesturing, but not the scope: move your arms from the shoulders onwards, and not just from the elbows.
[from "Doing effective presentations in an intercultural setting", John Bennet, ed., Ueberreuter, Wien, 1998]

How would a French-speaking Belgian react to a typical German presentation ? What would he or she like and dislike? What would be missing?
Anja Reicherstorfer | University of Applied Sciences

Intercultural Business Communication


Presentations

Anja Reicherstorfer | University of Applied Sciences