What Everyone Should Know
If your friend or family member has a hearing loss, there are a number of ways to make communication easier.
- 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.
- Stand where your face is well lit. This makes it easier to see your facial expressions and read your lips.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- If you are having trouble being understood, try rephrasing your sentence rather than just repeating yourself.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Alternatively, try to find somewhere quieter to talk.