For the past 90 years, May has been the month where people with and without hearing loss come together to help spread awareness. Created by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the goal of this month-long event is to raise awareness of hearing loss and speech problems. The theme for 2018 is “Communication for All.”
Communicating with someone who has hearing loss is not always easy. That is why your Las Vegas audiologist has put together this list of tips to help improve your skills and have a more productive conversation.
Maintain Eye Contact
When speaking, you should always face the person you are talking to and maintain eye contact. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room as visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
Have Their Attention
Before you start speaking you should make sure you have the person’s attention. This can usually be accomplished by simply saying their name or making eye contact.
Speak Slowly and Concisely
I know you will want to but don’t shout. This can lead to distorted speech and makes your words more difficult to understand. Also, it helps to pause between sentences to make sure what you are saying is understood.
Don’t Cover Your Mouth
This should probably seem obvious but just in case – don’t cover your face with your hands or other objects. Those with hearing loss often rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation; they may also 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
Having a conversation in a noisy room can be difficult. 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
If necessary, repeat yourself. You should also try using different words or rephrasing your sentence if it is too confusing. Try not to use unnecessarily 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 Las Vegas audiologist.