Many of you know that I do a lot of public speaking, events, meetings and briefings on a variety of technology-related topics.
Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of presenting to 60 banking executives and their team about a security topic very important to their bank.
Normally, I’m quite confident speaking to any group; but I have to admit that I was quite nervous as I waited to present to 60 people, knowing that I was expected to speak in both Thai and English. To make matters even more challenging, I was following an excellent presentation by a very good speaker, and very funny man, who is a cybersecurity expert with the Royal Thai Police.
When my turn to speak arrived, I opened my presentation in Thai and spoke for a few minutes only in Thai, talking about my experience in Thai culture and how happy I was to be there, thanking my hosts for inviting me.
To my surprise, the entire group warmly applauded me after my introduction!
It is really challenging moving from being a fluent, confident speaker in English to presenting to Thai executives and their team; but the kindness and warm hospitality of the Thai people make it all worth while.
My personal goal is to advance from presenting about 25 percent in Thai and 75 percent in English to 50 percent in Thai and 50 percent in English by this time next year.
So, when you are presenting topics such as CEP or cybersecurity in your native English language, spare a few moment to think about your expatriate colleague in Thailand, presenting the same advanced technical concepts in Thai.