- Posted by VoiceBoxer Team
- On 11 February 2016
Margarita Griffith is the Senior Learning Officer at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We had the opportunity to have a chat with her to talk about the role of webinars, language barriers, and VoiceBoxer in her work.
The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with the vision to inspire, facilitate, encourage, and promote all forms of humanitarian activities by their National Societies. To support that vision, Margarita and the Unit for Organizational Development, Learning & Innovation supply a variety of learning opportunities for their staff, partners, and volunteers.
How do webinars help you in your work? How have you managed language barriers in the past?
Language has always been a barrier for us when organising training activities. Here in the region, we deal mainly with English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese; so it is always a huge investment of money when ensuring interpretation in all these languages when organising a face-to-face training. The cost for mobilization people across the continent is huge, and added to that is the cost of the interpreters. Because of all these logistics, we have been adopting as a strategy in the last years to develop more virtual trainings; but we thought it was impossible to be able to handle one event in different languages, so we used to redo the same webinar in many different languages depending on the audience. Of course, we would then need to obtain several experts that will handle the topics and this is not always easy because we cover very specialized topics.
What led you to try the VoiceBoxer platform?
Seeing all these complexities, VoiceBoxer came as an innovative tool that could help us to achieve our goal of reaching a wider audience at a lower cost. It was a new technology that surpassed all of our expectations. Being able to have one facilitator addressing a multilingual audience and everyone hearing in their own language was incredible. The first time I heard the concept I just couldn’t believe it, until we tried the platform and were actually able to confirm that it worked, and we realized even something greater: That the audience could not only listen but see the PPT in their own language.
With VoiceBoxer our problems were just over…. Until we realized that we could not have in the same webinar various presenters in different countries. But this was quickly solved with the team of experts at VoiceBoxer. They redesigned the platform, and currently, we are able to have different presenters in various locations of the world, presenting in different languages.
What was your experience using VoiceBoxer?
About the team of experts that work at VoiceBoxer, I cannot say more than the relationship with them is really close. They are a customer-focused company working side-by-side developing all the features that our company needed. In each webinar they are present giving the support and willing to assume responsibility if things don’t actually work as expected. This is very important because in dealing with connectivity issues in different parts of the world, one has to realize that many things can get out of control.
What would you like to say to anyone thinking about using multilingual webinars to advance their organizations?
I personally see a great future in this platform. I have delivered webinars on many other platforms, but I have not experienced any other that is as user-friendly as VoiceBoxer. It is not just the fact that you have online interpretation at an affordable price, but that users can go into the platform without the need to download any software or having to go through a difficult login method. With just a click, the audience is able to listen, see, and actively engage in the webinar, regardless of their language.
Any final thoughts you would like to share?
For me, the future of multilingual education is now, and VoiceBoxer is shaping it.
Margarita, thank you very much!