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Business Presentation

Making a Successful Presentation in Japan

The key to a successful presentation lies in the careful preparation of slides and handouts. While your spoken words are important, it's essential to recognize that most of your audience may struggle to follow verbal content. Less than five percent of Japanese individuals understand English at a natural speed. As such, they are more likely to focus on the interpreter's voice, the projected slides, and the handouts.

Bilingual Slides


Your Japanese audience will value your physical presence, your deliberate speaking pace, and your inclusion of both English and Japanese text simultaneously on the screen.


Here are some tips for creating bilingual slides >>

Bilingual Handouts


While preparing handouts requires extra effort, opting for all-purpose slides and distributing them as handouts may result in cluttered visuals. Additionally, Japanese individuals typically expect more from handouts.


Here are some tips on how to prepare bilingual handouts >>

Cultural Differences


While slides and handouts are crucial, effective communication with Japanese individuals requires cultural sensitivity.

At large conferences, maintaining a stationary position conveys trust, as excessive movement can be perceived as distracting. While TED presenters often utilize dynamic body language, such gestures may not resonate well with Japanese businesspeople.

During small meetings, establish eye contact with key decision-makers while avoiding prolonged or intense eye contact, which may be uncomfortable for Japanese individuals.

Quality of Translations


Accurate translations are paramount, but the emotional impact of the writing is equally significant. Well-crafted writing resonates with readers and enhances their experience. Just as music pleases the listener, the Japanese language has its own rhythm and tone, influencing how messages are received.


Messages conveyed with appropriate Japanese rhythm and tone are understood more quickly, remembered longer, and enjoyed more.

Presenting to a Japanese audience can be more straightforward than anticipated. By adhering to these tips, such as creating clear slides, detailed handouts, and moderating your body language, you can facilitate successful interactions and deal-making.

Engage your audience, inspire trust, and navigate cultural nuances effectively during your presentations! Click to access Meg's translations for precisely worded content.

"Words that Sing off the Page"

I finished going over your translation and I have to say, reading your work was a pleasure. I have seen a LOT of translation work over the years and the text you created was so clear. Perhaps it was the content—but your words (for me) just sang off the page. 

Barbara S. Morrison, Professor at Utsunomiya University

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