Posts Tagged ‘translation’

Improved translated presentations. Part 6.

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Don’t use humor or jargon.

The first time I experienced translation was in Korea in 1994 and it was an eye-opener for me. I was fascinated and somewhat anxious about the process. A colleague of mine, Grady Booch, spoke first. Grady was, and still is, a brilliant speaker, but it was probably his first time doing a simultaneously translated presentation. He talked quite fast and used quite a bit of engineering jargon and some folksy humor. The Korean audience was riveted, even though he did not adjust his speaking style much. His jokes received an authentic laughing response, although slightly offset by the few-second delay of translation. One joke in particular seemed like it should have been complete nonsense outside the United States nerd programmer community. It was something about “getting hosed by overusing go-to statements and ending up with spaghetti code.” Even to English-speaking nonprogrammers, this phrase should have been almost unintelligible.


Avoid Information Overload

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The best presentations are pretty sparse. They do not fill every bit of white space with data, words, cute clip art, frilly backgrounds, and eye-catching multi-media elements. There is a time and place for all these elements, but most presentations don’t need them. If you are producing a documentary film of an important construction project, you don’t need special effects, action scenes, and nudity to tell the story. Similarly, if you are presenting your team’s budgetary status, you don’t need clip art, PowerPoint animations, and distracting background graphics.