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Chapter 19. Taking the Show on the Road:... > Ways to Get Your Message Across in A... - Pg. 155

Taking the Show on the Road: Multicultural Concerns and International 155 Speeches In the last census, about one-quarter of the people living in the United States identified themselves as minorities. For example, there are 2,000 Hmongs from Laos living in Wisconsin, and nearly half of all Californians are African-American, Latino, or Asian. According to one estimate, there are roughly twice as many Muslims as Episcopalians in the United States today. And the 350 employees at the Digital Equipment Corporation plant in Boston come from nearly 50 countries and speak 19 different languages; the plant's announcements are printed in English, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Spanish, and Chinese. As you can see from these examples, it's not as easy to make assumptions about a potential audience as it once was. Do You Have Anything to Declare? Unfortunately, few speakers have much experience dealing with multicultural audiences or know much about the special needs that come with these speeches. As a result, they approach the podium with great trepidation. How many of these concerns worry you ? Read the following list of common questions to get an idea: · · · · · · · · Will I make a cross-cultural blunder? Can I use humor effectively? How can I show respect for my host's culture? How can I show respect for my foreign hosts? How can I show pride in my own heritage? How can I be sure that my message is understood? How can I meet the special demands of a foreign audience? How can I use translators effectively?