Good Communication Habits

Ways to Improve Communication
  • Do what you can to make lip-reading possible.
  • Talk face-to-face.
  • Speak at a natural pace.
  • Try to eliminate background noise

Talk Face-to-Face

  • Face the person you are talking to. Don't try to converse from a different room or with your back turned. It is easier to hear what people say when you can see what they are saying. Visual clues, like facial expressions and lip movements, 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.
  • Try not to talk while chewing or smoking – it makes it harder to understand what you are saying, and almost impossible for others to read your lips.
  • If you talk while reading the newspaper, or lean your cheek on your hand while talking, this will also make lip-reading difficult for others.

Speak at a Natural Pace

  • No need to shout. It’s fine to speak at a normal conversational level when talking with someone who wears hearing aids. Most aids amplify a normal level of speech. If you shout, it may be too loud or even painful.
  • Try not to talk too fast. Speak naturally, but try to pronounce your words more clearly. This will help slow your speech. Be careful not to overdo it.
  • If you are having trouble being understood, try rephrasing your sentence rather than just repeating yourself. Some words are more easily heard or lip-read than others.
  • 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.

Reduce Background Noise

Voices are difficult to hear when they are in competition with background noise. These tips may help:

  • Turn off the television and close any open windows to reduce any noise from traffic.
  • Move closer to your listener so your voice is louder. This will also make your face and lips easier to read.
  • Try to find somewhere quieter to talk.

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