May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Every May, the nearly 48 million people in Boone, NC, and throughout the country with hearing loss come together to celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month. The goal is to raise awareness of hearing loss and speech problems. The theme this year is “Communication for All.”

10 Tips For Effective Communication

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Below are 10 tips your Boone audiologist put together to help you communicate better with others and have more productive conversations with an individual with 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; visual cues are an important component of successful communication.

Have Their Attention

Make sure you have the person’s attention before beginning a conversation. It helps to state their name so they are aware you are addressing them and can focus on your words.

Speak slowly and concisely.

Resist the temptation to shout, which can lead to distorted speech and make 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

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 Boone audiologist.