International Business Communication presentation

Living in Ecuador, from Portugal

"With InterNations I met other Portuguese women in Quito quickly. We even play tennis together once a week."

Jaromir Novy

Living in Ecuador, from Czech Republic

"InterNations provided me with all the necessary information about Ecuador. It really helps to settle as expat in South America."

Cross-Cultural Communication

You’re about to give a business presentation for an international audience? Don’t underestimate the importance of cross-cultural training in this situation. Using the example of Caitlin, a US sales manager, we help you understand its value for expats concerned with international business.

Cross-cultural training in a business context sounds like one of these oft-cited buzzwords which are all the rage among HR management. Expats may not always know what exactly cross-cultural training means or how they could profit from it.

Some skeptics might even doubt that cross-cultural training is all that important for a successful presentation abroad. Business is business everywhere, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple. Let’s look at the story of a sales manager from the US, speaking to an intercultural audience without such training.

General Tips for International Presentations

The sales manager, a successful businesswoman called Caitlin, thought she’d done her homework for an effective presentation despite foregoing cross-cultural training. She had planned to attend a crash course for international presentations, but had to skip it for time reasons.

Caitlin had delivered so many powerful lectures to middle and upper management that it couldn’t go wrong, she thought. She did follow several time-honored rules for capturing an audience’s attention. She didn’t need any cross-cultural training to know her competence and include these key aspects:

  • Structure the presentation clearly.
  • Make your beginning and ending as effective as possible. As a fan of the New York Yankees, Caitlin liked opening her presentations with allusions to the baseball team’s legendary successes.
  • Make proper use of visual aids to underscore your point. Caitlin didn’t appreciate statistics cluttering her slides. So she decided to deliver a “bottom-line” presentation, elaborating her sales strategy starting off from a single point, with only a few figures.
  • Use your voice to create enthusiasm and interest. Project confidence in your body language. Caitlin was excellent at this. She had been a talented amateur actress in college, with natural skills at making grand gestures and effusive speeches.
  • Hone your communication skills, too. Since Caitlin loved the Yankees, she kept using baseball idioms to create an extended metaphor and make the talk more entertaining.
  • Give your audience the opportunity to react and ask questions during a discussion round.

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