3 Tips to Overcome the Language Barrier in Meetings

Singapore, the top convention city in Asia for the past 10 years, is brimming with a vibrant MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) ecosystem. The reasons could be its advanced infrastructure and cosmopolitan business environment. However, to be able to make the most of your corporate event here, getting past the language barrier is crucial. Here are 3 tips to get you started.

1. Know the audience and their culture

As you rent training room and prepare for your presentations, also conduct a thorough research about the local culture and what language your attendees speak. This might include;
a) Gathering information about the level of your attendees’ proficiency in your language by sifting through mails and your pre-event correspondence with them.
b) Acquainting yourself with the local creole, Singlish, in order to ensure smooth interaction and establish a more direct, friendly flow of communication. This also helps future endeavors like marketing campaigns
c) Noting if the attendees pronounce their names or greet a specific way and altering your verbal and non-verbal behavior accordingly.

2. Communicate visually

One of the best ways to get language problems out of the way is to use flowcharts, slideshows, videos, and cue cards in a meeting. Have your marketing team come up with effective graphics and interactive videos for same. This is the reason it is so important to enquire your seminar room rental company about supplementary facilities like free Wi-Fi, whiteboards, a good supply of marker pens, projectors and screens.

3. Invest in language training

Even though English is one of the official languages, Chinese is spoken by the majority, as are Malay and Tamil. Having your employees undergo formal training is an investment that pays in the long run. This also helps show your business partners that you are serious about building a relationship with them. Another good idea is to hire local trainers proficient in your audience’s language.