First Consecutive Tips

Preparation for consecutive interpreting assignments according

to Becker (1975)

– dress appropriately for the event. Don’t dress too warm – conference rooms tend to get overheated. 

– take 2 or 3 biros

– use a standard sized note-pad (A5). If you have to stand to take notes use a smaller pad as they are stiffer and therefore easier to write on when standing.

– get a list of participants names before you start. VIPs will most likely be mentioned by name

– ask participants if there are any terms or concepts you haven’t understood despite your preparation.

– don’t interpret through applause, you can’t be heard.

– agree with the speaker in advance how long they will speak before you interpret. (So you don’t get 20 minutes or 3 words, neither of which are easy to do!)

– stand or sit up straight so as to look professional

– +/- 10% of the original speaking time

– eat before you go 1) because you may not get time to eat and 2) because alcohol on an empty stomach may upset your interpreting quicker than you thought

– Ask questions of the speaker, if you have any, only at the end of his speech. Don’t interrupt them.

– Only translate interjections from the audience if they are absolutely relevant.