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Online meetings with interpreters

Oct, 2021
Anja Peschel

Follow our tips to ensure that your online meeting with interpreters runs smoothly! In addition to the following requirements, we recommend initiating a test call and holding a briefing with all active participants.

Use the right equipment

  • Choose the right video conference platform. Will the conference be interpreted into one foreign language? Then you’ll need two language channels (original and translation). We will be happy to advise you.
  • If you choose to use a video conference platform without a built-in function for interpreting, participants who wish to listen to the interpreters will need to use two devices (e.g. a laptop and a smartphone).
  • Make sure your connection is stable. An internet connection via ethernet cable is more reliable than using Wi-Fi.
  • Ensure that your internet connection is fast enough. We recommend a download speed of more than 100 Mbit and an upload speed of over 40 Mbit. You can test these speeds at
  • Use a good microphone with a frequency range of 125 Hz to 15,000 Hz (USB headset recommended).
  • Don’t rely on Bluetooth connections – they can be unstable and cut out when the device’s battery dies.
  • Smartphone headphones with a built-in microphone are insufficient, but are still better than using your computer’s or webcam’s microphone.
  • Don’t use a conference phone as these pick up lots of background noise.
  • Make sure that your chosen system is equipped with hearing protection that automatically tunes out peaks over 94 dB lasting for more than 100 ms.

Choose a quiet environment

  • Find the right acoustics – small spaces, full bookshelves, carpeting and curtains all absorb sound and ensure that everyone in the conference only hears your voice.
  • Keep background noise to a minimum. Turn down your heater or air conditioner and close doors and windows.
  • Don’t get interrupted. Deactivate your phone’s notifications and hang a “Do not disturb” sign on the door.

Respect netiquette

  • Set up your platform so that all participants’ microphones are muted by default.
  • Designate a co-host who can mute any participants who have accidentally left their microphones on and who is available during the conference to handle any technical issues.
  • Ask all active participants to turn their cameras on for the duration.
  • Request that speakers enunciate, particularly with regard to acronyms and proper names.
  • Ensure that active participants’ full names appear with their video feed.
  • Encourage participants to speak in the language of the conference in which they feel most comfortable – typically this is their native language.

Keep your image professional

  • Sit in front of a neutral background with decent lighting to ensure that your facial expressions can be seen. This reinforces what you have to say.
  • Position yourself in the middle of the frame, making sure your head and torso are visible so that others can read your body language.
  • Look into the camera to give the effect of making eye contact.
  • Make sure that your camera is positioned at eye level and that it doesn’t wobble.

Share valuable information with the interpreters

  • Make all presentations, the agenda, participants’ names and video clips available to the interpreters ahead of time.
  • Hold a test run with the interpreters to clear up any questions about how the conference will be conducted.

Do you still have questions? We will be happy to offer you advice on the appropriate interpreting solution for your next online meeting!

Telephone: +49 761 380969-0

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Wallstraße 9
79098 Freiburg

  • Office hours:

    Monday–Friday: 09.00am–05.00pm

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