Making Communication Easier

What Everyone Should Know

If your friend or family member has a hearing loss, there are a number of ways to make communication easier.

Talk Face-to-Face

  1. Face the person you are talking to. Don’t try to converse from a different room or with your back turned. Visual clues, like facial expressions and lip movements, do a lot to help listeners understand your words.
  2. Stand where your face is well lit. This makes it easier to see your facial expressions and read your lips.
  3. Do not talk while reading the newspaper, or lean your cheek on your hand while talking, as this will also make speech-reading difficult.

Speak at a Natural Pace

  1. You don’t need to shout – speak at a normal conversational level. Most instruments are programmed to amplify a normal level of speech, so if you shout, it may be too loud or sound distorted to the listener.
  2. Try not to talk too fast. Speak naturally, but try to pronounce your words more clearly. This will naturally slow your speech, but be careful not to overdo it.
  3. If you are having trouble being understood, try rephrasing your sentence rather than just repeating yourself.
  4. When you are in a group, take turns at talking, and try not to interrupt each other. If the conversation changes suddenly, try to inform the person with the hearing loss; when they know what the subject is, it is easier to understand what is being said.

Try to Reduce Background Noise

  1. Try to reduce background noise when having a conversation. Turn off the television and close any open windows to reduce any noise from the outside.
  2. Move closer to your listener so your voice is louder than the background noise. This will also make your face and lips easier to read.
  3. Alternatively, try to find somewhere quieter to talk.

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