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Communication Tips

For the Listener:

  • Relearn the skill of concentration. Pay attention. Listen.
  • Avoid pretending that you have understood what was said.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat or speak up.
  • Don’t hesitate to inform the speaker that you did not hear what was said and suggest what the speaker can do to help you hear.
  • Remind people to speak to you, make eye contact.
  • Carefully watch the speaker. Attend to the lips, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.
  • Position yourself to take advantage of good lighting and reduce glare. Have the light come from behind you.
  • At informal gatherings, try to have one-on-one conversations; these are easier than group conversations.
  • Hearing in noisy places (parties, meetings, movies, and church) is a problem for all listeners. Practice will help you learn to separate speech from background noise.
  • Encourage the use of public address systems at meetings or at church.
  • Arrive early at meetings, church, etc. so you can sit close to the speaker for a better position to hear and see the speaker.

For the Speaker:

  • Get the person’s attention before speaking.
  • Speak clearly and at a moderate pace.
  • Don’t shout.
  • Avoid noisy background situations.
  • Rephrase when you are not understood.
  • Give clues when changing the subject.
  • Use facial expressions and gestures.
  • Be patient, positive, and relaxed.
  • Don’t put objects in front of your face.

Don’t have objects in your mouth such as gum, food, or cigarettes.

  • When in doubt, ask the listener for suggestions to improve communication.

The above information was excerpted from “Learning to Hear Again: Listening Strategies and Communication Strategies” by D. S. Wayner and J. E. Abrahamson, 2000.

Please contact Texas Center for Hearing Aids for more information.