This is the question that begs to be asked. It comes up in 99% of the interpretation events I do when the listeners have the chance to interact with me during coffee break or even before or after going back to the booth. People who are not used to experience simultaneous interpretation get very curious about it. And that is very good! It means that my work is being well done, some of them get to think that we are reading everything or even throwing the sentences into the “online translator” before saying them, since the work is done so quickly and conveys everything the speaker is saying. I have already experienced some listeners spying on me in the booth, checking what was open on my computer screen, observing what we do inside that little space. And then, surprised to see that the magic is inside our brains, they come to talk to get to know how we learned that magic trick.
What does not come together with the handout of the event is our curriculum. In order to achieve an appropriate level as an interpreter, there is the need of many years of study, strong academic education with much practice and updating, up-to-date general and cultural knowledge, meticulous preparation for each event based on a lot of research, health and voice care, and disposition to follow long hours of work of intense concentration.
This is how we can do it. Always preparing ourselves to the marketplace, studying every day, practicing a lot, investing most part of our time in our profession. And the satisfaction of hearing that makes every second of dedication worth it.