Good Communication President Obama a Good Example
No one will argue President Obama is an excellent orator. During his campaign, I thought many times, I wish everyone spoke like he does. I was not necessarily thinking about his words, although they were important, I was thinking about how he delivered those words. He is an excellent example of good communication style.
I have been working with individuals with hearing loss for 25 years. During those years I learned to be deliberate when speaking to someone with hearing loss. Hearing aids make sounds louder and accessible, but the auditory system remains damaged. As a hearing loss gets more severe, it is an indication of more damage to the system and an increasingly less clear message being delivered to the brain. There is much we can do to help our family and friends with hearing loss.
Some pointers for good communication
1. Speak clearly and slowly from the diaphragm, this separates the sounds in a word and distinguishes between sounds that are similar.
2. Get the persons attention before starting to speak. Often we start talking before a person knows we are addressing them. Individuals without hearing loss are able to figure out those first few words they missed. People with hearing loss often cannot.
3. Make speech visible on your lips. Many of the soft sounds in speech are in the front part of the mouth and easy to see on the lips. By moving your lips a little more; sounds become visible and enhances lip/speech reading.
4. Reword rather than repeat. If someone with a hearing loss asks you to repeat, rewording supplies different words and more information to help them get the message.
5. Reduce noise in the environment when possible. If you want to talk to someone with a hearing loss, having the TV or radio on with interfere. Turning them down or off will help.
6. Dont yell it distorts speech. Yelling to be heard actually makes it more difficult for someone with a hearing loss to hear because it tends to distort speech, especially through a hearing aid.
President Obama speaks clearly, slowly and deliberately. That is number one on my list, because it is the most important. Just doing that would solve many communication problems. If you know someone that has a hearing loss, I hope these suggestions will help develop better communication.