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Chapter 19. Taking the Show on the Road:... > Ways to Get Your Message Across in A... - Pg. 156

Taking the Show on the Road: Multicultural Concerns and International 156 Speeches 1. Declare your pleasure at speaking to this foreign audience.Acknowledge the honor of ad- dressing a cross-cultural audience. At the opening of the speech, state your positive feelings about being invited to speak to people from another country or of another culture. The ac- knowledgment should be direct and sincere, not obsequious or hollow. For example, you might say, "I am most grateful for the honor of being the first representative from the XYZ Company to address a Japanese audience." 2. Cite an expert from your guest's country or culture.If possible, find an authority from the host's country or culture whose views match the theme of your speech. Possibilities include educa- tors, respected public officials, writers, artists, or famous historical figures. As with any au- thority you cite, be sure that the reference is appropriate to the speech and that the figure is indeed admired by the members of your audience. 3. Include a quotation from your guest's country or culture.Select an apt quotation from a well- known, well-respected source that reinforces your message and flatters your audience. Con- sider quoting a popular person or work of literature from your host's culture, for example. Be sure to include context or background to make the quote more meaningful. 4. Make references to your own culture.Focus on your culture's shared values. Emotional ap- peals help bridge gaps between customs and traditions by showing that people share common feelings, no matter how diverse their backgrounds. 5. Deliver your most powerful line in the audience's language.Learning a line or two of your speech in your audience's language makes an impression that's much greater than the effort required. This illustrates in an especially dramatic way the importance of intercultural under- standing. Don't overthink it; the line can be as simple as, "My country extends its thanks to everyone here." Your guests will appreciate the effort you expended to learn a few words of their language. It's also an effective way to build rapport with your audience. Class Act In North America, clothing conveys nonverbal messages about competence, success, and influence. In Japan, clothing denotes the occupational group as well as status. Company badges include rank; work- ers wear different colors when they go on strike. 6. 7. 8. Use the country's measurement terms.America is one of the few places in the world that does not use metric measurements. If you are delivering a speech in a country that uses metric terms, translate your figures into metric. It's a small touch that goes a long way toward im- pressing an audience. Check your timing.If you are delivering a major speech in another country, try to adjust the time of your presentation to accommodate everyone's internal clock. Avoid speaking when you--or members of your audience--are jet-lagged. Also, if the speech is going to be carried in the media, try to time it so that it can be broadcast at home as well as locally. Reinforce the need for intercultural communication.Address the issue of cultural diversity head-on to reassure your audience that everyone is singing from the same hymnal (Case in point, some audiences won't understand expressions such as "singing from the same hym- nal!"). You can cite statistics, specific examples, and vivid anecdotes that stress the need for international understanding. This data should be easily available in up-to-date reference texts such as an almanac. Read over these examples to illustrate this point: