Tips For Effective Communication

Posted by Living Sounds

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for reading our blog! In the past, we have talked about how to communicate effectively, but effective communication between a person with normal hearing and a person who is hard of hearing does not always take place. Normal hearing people often forget how important their role is when speaking to a person with hearing loss. Below are some great tips for how people with normal hearing can help themselves be heard by someone with hearing loss, and tips for individuals with hearing loss to increase their listening abilities.

Tips for a Hearing Person to Communicate with Person Who Has a Hearing Loss

Position yourself properly

  • Get the person’s attention first.
  • Face the person directly.
  • Highlight your face with light around you so the person you are speaking to can clearly see your mouth (no backlighting).
  • Ask how you can facilitate communication.
  • Avoid noisy backgrounds.
  • When audio and acoustics are poor, emphasize the visual.

Speaking to your audience

  • Don’t shout.
  • Speak clearly, at moderate pace, and don’t over-emphasize words.
  • Don’t hide your mouth, chew food, gum, or smoke while talking.
  • Re-phrase your sentence if you are not understood.
  • Use facial expressions and gestures.
  • Give clues when changing subjects or say “new subject.”

Be empathic to your audience

  • Be patient if the person’s response seems slow.
  • Talk to the person who is hard of hearing, not about him or her to another person.
  • Show respect to help build confidence and have a constructive conversation.
  • Maintain a sense of humor, and stay positive and relaxed.

 Tips for a Person with Hearing Loss to Communicate with a Hearing People

Inform your audience and plan ahead

  • Tell others how to best communicate with you.
  • Hold a conversation in a space that allows you to hear the best you can (light, quiet area, close to speaker).
  • Anticipate difficult situations, and plan how to minimize them.

Do your part. Focus to listen.

  • Pay attention.
  • Concentrate on the speaker.
  • Look for visual clues.
  • Ask for written cues if needed.
  • Don’t interrupt the speaker. Let conversation flow to fill in the blanks and gain more meaning.
  • Maintain a sense of humor, and stay positive and relaxed.

Be empathic to your audience

  • React. Let the speaker know how well he or she is conveying the information.
  • Don’t lie. Admit it when you don’t understand.
  • If you are too tired to concentrate, ask to have the discussion at a later time.
  • Thank the speaker for making an effort to communicate clearly.

If you have any questions about how to communicate more effectively to people with or without hearing loss, feel free to contact us at Living Sounds Hearing Centre 1-833-559-4327.

Klinton Pilling, BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instruments Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner

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