International Business Communication issues
Living in Honduras, from Canada
"InterNations events and forums have provided me with an extensive network of business and personal contacts in Tegucigalpa."
Living in Iran, from USA
"InterNations has provided me with an extensive network of expats in Tehran."
As a global mind, e.g. an expat working in international management or a business person with lots of clients abroad, you’ll need to deal with international business communication sooner or later. We show you how good communication skills can help you overcome international business issues.
In our article on Cross-Cultural Training for Business Purposes, we described how Caitlin, a successful sales executive from the United States, fared in a global context. She was faced with one of the most obvious international business issues, giving a presentation to an international audience, but she didn’t do very well.
On the following two pages, we will find out why – and help you succeed in an international setting.
Seasoned presenters always ask themselves the right questions when preparing their presentation.
- Why am I giving this presentation? What do I want to achieve?
- Where will I be delivering it? What are the facilities like? What technology is available?
- When is the presentation scheduled for? How long should it take?
- What should I include? How should the content be structured?
- Who is my audience?
However, in the light of international business issues, you should pay extra attention to the last question. Always analyze your audience according to the following three factors:
- level of skill and expertise
- function and position within their company
- goals and expectations
An awareness of international business issues should tell you that a fourth aspect becomes indispensable:
You ought to keep the following advice in mind when preparing a presentation that confronts you with international business issues, such as an audience from a foreign country, with different cultural mindsets, other attitudes towards management, and varying linguistic skills.
Language is a common international issue. Always speak slowly and clearly. The language of your presentation may not be the listeners’ mother tongue, or you may be talking in a foreign language yourself. A slow tempo and a careful pronunciation help avoid misunderstandings.
Pay attention to regional varieties and so-called “false friends”. For example, a billion means a thousand million in American and contemporary British English. Non-native speakers of English, though, may use it according to the meaning of “billion” in other European languages – it refers to a 1 with twelve zeros.
You might also like
Quality Education @ a Distance: IFIP TC3 / WG3.6 Working Conference on Quality Education @ a Distance February 3-6, 2003, Geelong, Australia (IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology)
Information Technology and Educational Management in the Knowledge Society: IFIP TC3 WG3.7, 6th International Working Conference on Information ... in Information and Communication Technology)