Better Hearing & Speech Month is going strong this May. With this year’s theme being “Communication for All,” your Tucson audiologist thought this would be the perfect time to share some tips for improving your ability to communicate with someone who has hearing loss.
Maintain Eye Contact.
Face the person you are talking to directly, maintaining eye contact. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room since visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
Have Their Attention
Make sure you have the person’s attention before beginning a conversation. Stating their name before you start speaking is often helpful so they are aware you are addressing them and can focus on your words.
Speak slowly and concisely.
Don’t shout! This is often our first inclination when speaking with someone who can’t hear, but it can lead to distorted speech and makes your words more difficult to understand. Pause between sentences to ensure what you are saying is understood.
Don’t Cover Your Mouth
Do not cover your face with your hands or other objects. Individuals with hearing loss rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation, and sometimes find lip reading helpful.
Don’t Eat or Drink
Avoid eating and drinking while conversing. Not only is it rude to talk with your mouth full; it can make your words much harder to understand.
Find A Quiet Area
Try to find a quiet space free of background noise. This can be distracting and cause the hearing impaired individual to miss out on much of what you are saying.
Repetition is Key
Repeat yourself if necessary. Try using a different word or rephrasing your sentence if it is too confusing. Refrain from complex words and phrases.
When in Doubt, Write it Out
Supplement your conversation by writing down important information. This might include jotting down the topic you will be discussing beforehand.
Pay attention to the listener. If they look confused, offer to clarify what you have just said.
Communication is a Give and Take
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Give the other person a chance to speak, and do not interrupt.
To learn more communication tips, contact your Tucson audiologist.