Masks are useful for protecting you from the spread of COVID-19, but they’re not the best for communicating. Half of your face is covered, and speech is muffled. These factors make communication difficult for anyone, especially people with .
Find A Good Listening Environment
Trying to hold a conversation in a noisy environment is hard, even without masks. It’s just about impossible when you factor in a mask. Find a quiet space or move away from noisy crowds to speak with someone. And a quiet space is essential since social distancing mandates we all put more space between ourselves.
Use Body Language to Communicate
Since most of your face is covered, lip-reading and facial cues can’t convey your message. Using your hands and other body languages can communicate your mood and meaning. Use context clues as well to clarify your meaning.
Speak Clearly And Slowly
Shouting won’t help and will only cause frustration. Trying to shout affects the inflection that gives sentence context. You may have to rephrase a muddled sentence as well.
Take your time during a conversation if you’re speaking with a mask. Slowing down allows the other person more time to process what you’re saying. You’ll likely be asked, “What did you say?” several times if you’re talking a mile a minute.
Talk to text apps will come in handy while we’re all sporting masks for the foreseeable future. New technology can transcribe speech in real-time so you can continue your conversation with ease. Writing conversations down will also help clarify speech, so you don’ have to repeat yourself.
Assistive portable listening devices can amplify the range of your hearing aids or cochlear implants as well. These are especially handy for noisier environments like restaurants.
Asking others to repeat themselves can shorten tempers and cause miscommunications. Take your time during conversations and be patient with others. Those with hearing devices are likely already struggling with wearing masks.