Best Practices For Multilingual Conference Participants

We have assembled the following simple guidance to ensure the best possible experience as you begin to make use of multilingual conferencing.

1. Share documents with interpreters before the conference
  • Be sure to provide the simultaneous interpreters who will be working on the call with a meeting agenda and any pertinent documents as much in advance as possible. This will allow them to prepare adequately for the meeting and to provide the highest quality interpreting services for your call.
  • Have the interpreter(s) connect to the call at least five minutes before it is scheduled to begin. This allows the call host/moderator to provide the interpreter(s) with any additional information or instructions and makes it possible to begin simultaneous interpretation as soon as the participants join.
2. Connect with the highest quality connection available to you
  • Audio quality is very important, especially if you are presenting or will do a lot of talking.
    • Fixed-line corded telephone handsets provide the best results
    • Avoid speakerphones and mobile phones
  • For the person(s) presenting a good quality headset is much preferred over a speakerphone.
  • If two or more people will be sharing a speakerphone, that group must speak and understand the same language.
  • If the system is set to call you, answer and press 1 to join the call.
  • Otherwise, dial the access number provided by the host (or see global numbers at and then enter the code you were provided, ending with #.
    • Dial the digits carefully
  • You may be asked to record your name. Wait for the beep, then clearly speak your full name(s) and company, and press #.
3. Change language channels using #1, #2, #3, etc.
  • You will participate on a specific language channel based on the code you entered when joining the meeting.
  • You can move to another language channel using your telephone keypad.
    • #1 selects Language 1 (usually English)
    • #2 selects Language 2
    • #0 selects the FLOOR Channel (use if you are bi-lingual; you will not hear the interpreter)
    • #3, #4… selects other languages if they are active for your meeting
  • Be sure to speak the language corresponding to the channel you have selected.
  • Use the FLOOR channel if you will be speaking more than one language.
4. Announce your name each time you speak; avoid talking fast
  • Announce your name each time you start speaking; this will allow others listening via the interpreter to know who is talking.
  • Speak as clearly as you can and be sure to hold your telephone such that the best reception is provided for your voice.
  • If using a speakerphone, speak clearly and direct your voice towards the phone.
  • Avoid speaking quickly or reading rapidly from a document – this complicates things for the interpreter(s). Faithfully expressing ideas in the other language(s) may require extra time and additional words.
  • Take turns speaking; remember that the interpreter(s) can only interpret for one speaker at a time.
  • Clearly yield the floor when you are done speaking by saying something like “That concludes my remarks,” or “I now return the meeting to the chairman.”
5. Use *1 to get the moderator's attention
  • The host may ask participants that want to ask a question or make a comment to “raise their hand.”
  • Raise your hand by pressing *1 on your telephone keypad and wait for the host to call on you.
  • If you need to interrupt the current speaker, say something like “Excuse me. I have a comment.” and then wait until you are given the floor to continue.
6. Minimize background noise; use *6 to mute yourself
  • Be sure to connect to the meeting from a quiet place; avoid airports and train stations.
  • If you are in a noisy place, dial *6 to mute your microphone
  • Dial *6 again to unmute when you are ready to speak