Korea Business Tip – “What Should I Know About Speaking in Front of a Korean Audience in Business?”

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

  1. Don’t try to speak in Korean if you don’t know Korean.
  2. Don’t over-think the speech; the same cultural rules generally apply as back home: avoid crude humor and political opinions.
  3. 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

** 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!

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