Communication Strategies

Here are some other suggestions to improve communication with people who have hearing loss:

  1. Ask the person with hearing loss what he or she needs to communicate effectively. If you are unsure whether you are being understood, ask: “Am I speaking clearly?”
  2. Maintain eye contact and if possible, keep your face well-lit.
  3. Speak clearly, at a moderate pace and pause slightly between phrases. (People cannot generally ‘read speech’ at the same pace as the talker delivers it.)
  4. Speak up but don’t shout or over-enunciate, as this contorts the face and can be misinterpreted.
  5. Match facial expressions to your words.
  6. Don’t cover your mouth, chew gum or look away.
  7. Avoid communicating in an area with background noise.
  8. Get the person’s attention before starting to speak.
  9. In group settings, ensure only one person speaks at a time.
  10. Introduce topic changes.
  11. If necessary, use pen and paper to convey messages.
  12. Be patient. Communication is a two-way street and the frustrations of hearing loss can be minimized by adopting simple strategies.

Printable version of the 7 Tips for Better Communication


7 Tips For Better Communication