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computer screen showing open enrollment translationAs open enrollment draws closer, perhaps you are working on informational materials and considering open enrollment presentation translation. We’ve translated just about every type of open enrollment communication you can think of. And while historically we often translated PowerPoints and speaker’s notes to help facilitate in-person presentations about employee benefits and open enrollment, one way that several of our clients adapted to COVID-19 prevention measures was to create an open enrollment video. Even now that in-person meetings are possible again, these open enrollment videos have stood the test of time. They are convenient for both employees and employers, since they can be watched at any time, paused, rewound, and rewatched. They can also be easy and cost-effective to update year after year. The base formula for open enrollment presentation translation can be the same for a video as for an in-person presentation: 1. a PowerPoint, 2. a script, and 3. a presenter.

1. The visuals

If you’ve ever created a PowerPoint presentation, you’re already well on your way to open enrollment presentation translation. You may even have a PowerPoint from past in-person presentations that you can repurpose for an open enrollment video. PPT files are a supported format for most computer assisted translation (CAT) tools. Unlike machine translation (e.g., Google Translate or DeepL), computer assisted translation does not provide the translated text. It is software that makes human translation more efficient and allows for more robust quality assurance than translating directly into the source file.

2. The script

Now that the visual element of your open enrollment presentation is translated, the next step is translating the script for narration. This is also quite straightforward. If your script is in the notes section of your PowerPoint, we will export it to Word for translation. We do this for a few reasons. The first is that most CAT tools don’t extract the notes from a PPT file for translation. Perhaps future software updates will have this capability. The second reason, however, necessitates that the script be in Word anyway: narration. Ultimately a narrator will need a script to read from and a script in Word allows for greater readability, especially when considering elements like pronunciation notes. More on that in a bit!

3. The presenter

An illustrated image of a voice actor and a director in the studioWhen creating an open enrollment video, your in-person presenter is replaced by a narrator. Selecting the right voice talent for the job depends on certain preferences and on your employees. We always recommend following the same protocols you have in place for your source narration that you have for your translated language narration. Did you listen to a few voice samples? Did you have a director in the studio with the narrator to ensure that they read everything in the script clearly and correctly? Did you select a voice talent with a “neutral” accent or a regional accent according to where your employees are from or currently live? We can (and do) do all these things for a translated narration as well. It’s also important to provide the voice talent with pronunciation notes for proper nouns. Should they be pronounced according to the source language or the target language? For example, if your employees will be enrolling for benefits through ADP, do you want the translated presentation to pronounce the letters “A,” “D,” and “P” in English, or in the target language? We typically recommend narrating proper names (even ones that are acronyms like ADP) with the source language pronunciation. This creates continuity in the case that the platform’s internal resources are not translated and avoids the question of how to handle languages with different alphabets.

Putting it all together

A PowerPoint presentation with the iSpring Suite 11 tab selectedOnce you have all the elements of your open enrollment presentation translation, there is just the matter of putting it all together into a video. Several of our clients use iSpring software to do this, and PowerPoint also has an Export > Create a Video option. And voilà! You can share the video with your employees across locations, from year to year, and in multiple languages.

Besides being easy to translate, creating an open enrollment video using PowerPoint is also easy to update year over year. Did your benefits offerings change, or you have updated your enrollment process? Just go into last year’s PowerPoint, make the necessary updates, and send the updated PowerPoint to your language service provider (LSP). If they use the right tools, they can easily determine where the changes were made and update only the slides with changes, saving time and money. The same is true of the script for narration; instead of having to recreate an entire video or schedule an in-person presentation every year, you can re-narrate only the slides that have changed. Just make sure that the first time your open enrollment presentation is narrated to create a video, the recording studio gives you separate audio files for each slide of the PowerPoint. Then you (and your LSP) can use your software of choice to mix and match updated PPT files with updated audio files as needed.