I am currently working with several coworkers. Every now and then, we give presentations of our work in English. Unfortunately, the coworker in charge of making the presentation and giving the speech is not so great at English. I politely asked to offer my help and correct the presentation. He agreed to let me do it, but he corrected my corrected work again afterwards. As a result, the presentation still has mistakes in grammar and spelling.

My coworker is of a higher position, and he has more seniority than me. How do I politely tell my coworker that it is better for him to assign the presentation to me? I would like to resolve this matter with him instead of taking it to people of higher position than him. What can I do?

  • A better bet might be to offer to collaborate on it... – keshlam Dec 2 '16 at 2:50
  • Related, but certainly not a duplicate: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/44581/3192 – Masked Man Dec 2 '16 at 4:24
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    Translation of your post: "I failed to convince my co-worker, who is senior to me, that my knowledge of English is superior to his and more reliable than his. I need the help/advice of you on Workplace in how to politely override him and take over his work, but without involving our superiors". Do I have your post right? – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 2 '16 at 6:13
  • Who decides who does the presentation, and does the senior enjoy doing it or is it more of a chore? – Erik Dec 2 '16 at 6:53
  • Are the mistakes bad enough that they change the meaning or make it unintelligible? – Myles Dec 2 '16 at 17:13

"If it isn't broken, don't fix it." (unless the customer is paying for it.)

Apparently, nobody who reads or sees the presentation sees the incorrect English as a big enough problem that needs fixed.

If you still insist on going ahead, you should ask your boss to get that presentation assigned to you. Be aware though that the presentation has been assigned to your senior considering a number of reasons, of which the quality of English may not be of the highest priority.

You would need to convince your boss that using impeccable English adds enough business value to the presentation, and also that you would be able to as good a job in the other aspects that matter. Good luck!

  • I'd agree with this. The concern that I have is that it could be seen as the OP is attempting to undermine his senior co-worker. If people are happy for this guy to present, then let him present. People generally overlook non-perfect written English when accompanied by a non-English speaker. The facts conveyed by the presentation outweigh grammatical perfection. – user44108 Dec 2 '16 at 8:11

Ask the simple question:

"I'd like to present the presentation, would that be okay with you?"

You don't even have to give a reason.

If he does ask why you can say that you simply wish to help and you've got time to prepare it.

Consider to just let him do it though, he could have good use from it practicing his english.


That person doesn't work for you. Unless you are in a marketing or PR department where reviewing this material is part of your job, leave it alone - you are overstepping. You don't want a reputation as that person in the office who's a pain in the rear.

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