Communication Strategies for Crowds

 

Walking into a busy restaurant, a reception hall, or even a family gathering, you may feel overwhelmed and frustrated with all the sounds your hearing instruments are picking up.  This is normal!  Even people with normal hearing have difficulty in these situations.

 

Here are some tips to help you hear better in crowded situations:

  • *Find a quiet place to talk.
    • Stay away from speaker systems and music while talking with others.
    • If you are in a restaurant, ask the hostess to sit you away from big groups of people and in a quiet area away from the kitchen and busboy stations.
  • *Look at what you want to hear and put your back toward the things you do not want to hear.
  • *If you did not understand what was said, ask someone to repeat or rephrase.
  • *Make eye contact with the person you are talking to.
  • *Make sure there is good lighting. A dark restaurant makes it difficult to read facial expressions and lips.

Are you talking to a person with trouble hearing?  Try this:

  • *Avoid background noise whenever possible.  Turn down or off the television or radio so there is no competing noise.
  • *Get their attention before talking to them.  Just saying their name breaks their attention from what they are doing so they know to listen to you.
  • *Sit somewhere with good lighting so that they can see your facial expressions.
  • *Do NOT shout. Speak slowly and clearly.
  • *Repeat and rephrase if they ask or if you feel they did not hear you clearly.
  • *Have patience!  Communication is difficult when you have a hearing loss and it can be frustrating for both the person with it and those trying to communicate with them.

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