Do you want to communicate more effectively? There are many simple ways to make conversation easier when a hearing loss is involved. Start by getting the attention of the person you want to talk to. Then you won’t waste time or words. Someone with hearing loss will lose the first few words while they figure out who is speaking to them, and that they need to stop and pay attention.
Next, speak slowly and clearly. Not a lot louder, or exaggerated, or very slow. Just add a few pauses and don’t rush too fast. Make sure that your topic is clear. This makes it easier to fill in any blanks or make educated guesses.
It really helps to be in the same room, face to face. It isn’t always possible. But you will notice how much more successful you are when you take the time to look at the person that you are speaking too. Eliminate any background noise that you can. Mute the TV and talk during commercials, stop the running water if you are doing dishes in the kitchen, or step away to a quieter corner or hallway in the middle of a social gathering.
These strategies are especially helpful for talking to someone with hearing loss. But they will help anyone who wants to get their message across the first time.
By Rachel Clayton, Audiologist