I get quite a few messages from people wanting specific answers about business in Korea and this week I received virtually the same somewhat unusual question twice.
Apparently some Westerners planning to speak to a Korean audience want to share extended thoughts in Korean, even though they don’t know Korean.
And it seems that non-Koreans often wonder if there’s something unusually tricky about crafting just the right message for Koreans.
For my full exploration of the topic: One of our investment professionals will be travelling to South Korea for a meeting and would like to make a few general opening remarks in Korean.
But here’s my short answer.
Tips for Speaking in Front of Koreans in Business
- Don’t try to speak in Korean if you don’t know Korean.
- Don’t over-think the speech; the same cultural rules generally apply as back home: avoid crude humor and political opinions.
- If in doubt, ask someone familiar with Korean culture to review your speech just to be sure.
Additional Resources on KBC and Elsewhere about Being More Culturally Effective with Koreans in Business
- The KBC Professional Certification Program – Business Culture Fundamentals Specialization
- Business Accelerator – Korean Business Savvy
- Korea Business Tip – How Can I Avoid Causing Offense in my Business Communications with Koreans?
- Korea Business Tip – What Are Some Key Points for Using Names and Job Titles Correctly in Korean Business?
** Comments are always welcome. If you have additional insights or come across information here that you disagree with or that needs to be updated — or just want to know something — don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your opinion/knowledge/question!