Communication Strategies

Based on D.S. Wayner, PhD & J.E. Abrahamson, MA (1996) Learning to Hear Again. An Audiologic Rehabilitation Cirriculum Guide.

  • Get the person’s attention before you speak. 
  • Avoid noisy background situations. Do not begin a conversation in background noise (e.g. kettle boiling). 
  • Speak clearly and at a moderate pace, do not shout. 
  • Rephrase when you are not understood. Do not look away from the listener or put objects in front of your face. 
  • Do not talk with objects in your mouth (e.g. food, cigarette or gum). 
  • Do not talk from a different room. The person who begins the conversation must go to the listener. 
  • In a group conversation take care to take turns while talking. The listener can only face one person at a time. Many people talking becomes background noise.

  • Set realistic goals about what you can expect to understand. 
  • Pick the best spot to communicate by avoiding areas that are poorly lit and very noisy.
  • Watch the speaker, even when listening is not difficult. It is good to get into the habit of paying attention. 
  • Do not be afraid to ask for repetition if you did not hear clearly.
  • Learn the topic of discussion. This makes it easier to follow the conversation. 
  • Do not interrupt the speaker before he/she finishes. You may pick up clues about the beginning toward the end. 
  • Learn to listen for ‘key words’ or ideas rather than specific words. 
  • Summarize what you have heard to your communication partner so that they can fill in the gaps. 


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