Clear speech is all about making use of both hearing and sight. It is not an exact process and requires context and a great deal of concentration for it to be effective. However, there are ten top tips you should always bear in mind which will help you communicate more effectively, particularly with people living with sight and hearing loss.
The ten rules for clear speech…
1: Face the person you are talking to
2: Don’t cover you face or mouth, (yes please remove face mask)
3: Make sure the light is on your face, not behind you
4: Speak at a normal speed, with short, clear sentences
5: Take regular pauses to check that you are being understood
6: Do put the important information at the beginning of the sentence (example – today is Mon, it’s cold, wet and grey and I’m wearing a cosy jumper. On a Monday we have chocolate at 3 pm) – Which bit is important?
7: Do use appropriate facial expression and body language to support what you are saying.
8: If confusion arises, repeat what you have said. If there is still some doubt, repeat again, slightly more slowly. On the 3rd attempt, re word what you have said, making it shorter, perhaps only key words – eg Today, Mon, chocolate day.
9: Don’t shout. Shouting distorts both lip pattern and facial expression.
10: Do allow time for the communication to be thought through, don’t dive in if there is a pause. The person you are speaking with has to do two separate processes, a) build and understand the sentences and b) understand the meaning of what has been said.
We hope you find these ten simple changes will help make a huge difference to how you communicate!