Consecutive - always a work in progress!

You're a qualified interpreter, but maybe you never learned a solid note-taking system. Or you're rusty. You wish you had better symbols. Or you have an accreditation test coming up.

That's where The Interpreting Coach team comes in. With years of training experience, I've helped students and seasoned interpreters alike take more reliable notes, go from interpreting short snippets to doing long consecutive, and improve their confidence when note-taking.

If you know the basics of note-taking but want to go deeper and get lots of practice with long consec, try Consecutive Clinic!

45% off FULL collection!

Full list of modules (€15 each)

Each module will take you around 1-2 hours to work through, and contains:

- intro video

- warm-up exercise or speech

- main practice speech (approx 4-6 mins)

- homework speech

- images of my notes for comparison purposes (NOT as a model! 😉)

- symbol brainstorming

Mix and match the modules that will help you focus on specific sub-skills of note-taking. Or grab them all! :-)

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Separation of ideas

One of the most basic principles of note-taking. Try this module to help focus on consistently separating ideas.

Now with 3 extra speeches (making a total of 6).

Subject - Verb - Object (SVO)

Improve the layout and reliability of your notes by implementing this principle.

Now with 3 extra speeches (making a total of 6).

SVO - sentence openers

This module considers how you can best take notes when there is a more complex sentence opener.

Now with 3 extra (tricky!) speeches (making a total of 6).

SVO - the 'O' position

In this module, we give some thought to what to do when there's a lot of information in the 'O' position.

Now with 3 extra speeches (making a total of 6).

Logical links

Are you good at marking transitions between ideas? Try this module for a helping hand.

Now with 3 extra speeches (making a total of 6).


Has an event already occurred, or is it still to come? Marking time accurately in your notes is essential. In this module, we cover simple ideas (e.g. marking verb tense) and more complex ones.

Structural markers

Brush up on your analysis and make sure you are reflecting the structure of the speech accurately in your notes.


Who said what? Who thinks what? Are you faithfully conveying various people's opinions when you do a consecutive? In this module, we look at ways to capture the subtleties of opinions.

Notes to self

Note-taking isn't just about taking down facts and figures. Improve the precision of your rendition by reliably noting asides, digressions, emphasis, and note. Learn how to leave yourself 'messages' so you know how to deliver tricky parts of the speech.


When can you summarise or leave items off a list? How can you distinguish lists from other ideas in the speech? Find out in this module.


Not everybody gets on with figures, percentages, etc. In this module I talk about strategies, and give three speeches packed with figures.


Speeches or presentations often begin in quite ritualistic ways ('welcome', 'this is an honour', etc. etc.). Practise these turns of phrase with this module.


Does your heart sink when a speaker throws in a quotation from the Bible, Confucius, or a popular business guru? This module looks at how we can deal with quotations in consecutive.

Abstract material

My students often tell me they find abstract material very difficult to note-take, unlike facts and figures. See if you agree with my tips in this module.

Technical jargon

What can you do if your speaker is throwing in lots of jargon or technical terminology?


Idioms lend so much colour to language, but they can be difficult to interpret. This module goes over some tips for dealing with idioms in consecutive.


Some tips to help you cope with very fast speeches.

Thematic module: money/finance

This module contains 3 speeches focusing on money/finance, to help you consolidate your symbols in this area.

Thematic module: energy

This module contains 3 speeches focusing on energy, to help you consolidate your symbols in this area (fuel poverty, tidal and wave power, UK energy imports).

Thematic module: human rights

This module contains 3 speeches focusing on human rights, to help you consolidate your symbols in this area (COVID and human rights, children's rights, trans women and elite sports).

Thematic module: humanitarian aid

This module contains 3 speeches focusing on humanitarian aid, to help you consolidate your symbols in this area (including aid: in cash or in kind? and aid to Afghanistan).

It has made me take an analytical approach to problems such as sentences that don't have the conventional SVO structure. I'm being challenged to establish go-to strategies for addressing specific difficulties that arise during speeches. Each week, we focus on a different challenge, which is really useful. We also brainstorm on symbols and I love to see colleagues' ideas. I am consolidating and further developing the skills learnt at university.

— Lucy

I was really able to improve the structure of my notes (especially with connecting ideas), but also with regard to noting down emphasis, nuances, asides, etc. It was a valuable part of my preparation in the run up to the EU accreditation test.

— Jonathan

Why sign up for Consecutive Clinic?

Work in your own time, with the opportunity to compare notes with a trainer and see other interpreters' symbols. Best of both worlds!

You can pick and choose the topics you're most interested in.

A snip at just €15, each module represents great value for money.

45% off FULL collection!

Meet Sophie.

Sophie Llewellyn Smith is a conference interpreter (EL, DE, FR<>EN) and member of AIIC. She combines work for the EU institutions with interpreter training at several universities.

With 20 years' experience as a trainer, she has taught on English enhancement and retour courses for the UN, the European Parliament, and the African Union, as well as Training of Trainers courses for SCIC and AIIC.

She is also the creator of Speechpool and the recent summit for interpreters, TerpSummit. The bulk of her work these days comprises 1-1 coaching, blogging, delivering webinars, and running her membership programmes for English and French retourists, Rock your Retour and L'Atelier français B.


How long will I have access to the materials?

You will have on demand access for as long as the Interpreting Coach website continues to exist (this is generally known as 'lifetime' access).

Who is Consecutive Clinic suitable for?

Consecutive Clinic is suitable for conference interpreters who have been taught the principles of consecutive note-taking and who wish to continue improving their skills - it's useful both for recent graduates and for experienced interpreters who want to refresh their note-taking skills.

Who is Consecutive Clinic NOT suitable for?

Consecutive Clinic is NOT suitable for complete beginners. Each module stands alone, and there is no pedagogical arc. So you need to understand the basics of note-taking to get the most out of the materials.

Consecutive Clinic is NOT suitable for people who want to work on very short consecutive (e.g. 40-50 words in legal settings). The practise speeches are too long to be suitable, and the note-taking method is not taught from first principles.

Consecutive Clinic may NOT be suitable for experienced interpreters with solid note-taking skills, who do consecutive regularly. If this is you, you may find the materials too basic.

Tell me more about the cost.

Individual modules of Consecutive Clinic are a snip at €15 each and there is a big discount on the complete collection.

What's the time commitment?

Each module will take you around 1 - 1 1/2 hours to go through, depend on how much time you spend on analysis of your performance.

Does it matter what my A language is?

No! All the materials, practice speeches and explanations are in English. If you try out the interpreting exercises, it will be up to you to assess the quality of your own work into your A language! :-) Or you could work with a practice partner.

If your A language is English, you can do some EN>EN work, or work into your B language (if you have one).

What's your refund policy?

Consecutive Clinic modules contain digital material, so we do not offer refunds.

Is this the same as your live Consecutive Clinic sessions on Mondays?

The standalone modules are NOT recordings of live sessions. They are designed to stand alone, and the intro videos covering a bit of 'theory' have been recorded specifically for these modules.

You haven't answered my question.

Please email Sophie at