Stage Management Skills
1. Effective communication distance is approximately 6 to 10 feet provided the speaker uses a normal conversational voice and the background noise is low.
2. If you can, try to arrange the environment so that you sit with your better ear toward the speaker. a. Try to face the speaker rather than just turning your ear toward them. b. Avoid sitting on a sofa between people when trying to have a conversation.
3. Educate you family and friends to speak to you only when they are in the same room and have your attention. Communication may be very difficult if the speaker and listener are in different rooms and there are other sounds in the environment: for example, the speaker is in the kitchen and you are in another room watching TV.
4. Inform speakers that you have a hearing impairment and that you would do much better if they look at you and speak clearly, distinctly and at a normal volume. Many normal hearing people think that if you wear a hearing aid, your hearing is then brought to the normal range and you will understand speech perfectly. You will find that many normal hearing people are willing to assist you to improve your communication, but they do not know what to do. Put them at ease an accept the responsibility to “stage the situation” to a more enhanced communicative environment.
5. You should maximize both the auditory and visual cues. If you are not wearing hearing aids or not using you current hearing aids, you should consult your audiologist for assistance.
Be Alert and Develop Good Listening Skills
1. Remember that hearing is the natural way to understand speech. If you have a hearing aid, use it. Sometimes you may not notice how much is helps, but others can. The more you use your hearing aids the better you will do.
2. Do not expect to get every word. Follow along with speakers and as you become familiar with the rhythm of their speech, key words will emerge so that you can put the meaning together. DO NOT CONCENTRATE ON HOW MUCH YOU MISSED!
3. Use the words you did hear to get more information. How? What? When? Where? Who? Why? 4. Take key information you heard to get more information. Restate it in the form of a question.
What did you say about______________?
5. When you did not get enough information or key words and you have to ask the person to repeat, ask him or her to tell you again using different words.
6. Remember that conversation is a two-way affair. Do not monopolize the conversation just so you can be on top of things. A good conversation involves taking turns.
7. BE REALISTIC! You will not always be sure of the entire conversation. However, with amplification and by using some of these suggestions you should do better. Be aware that people with “normal” hearing frequently have to ask for repetitions. No one hears everything all the time. BE REALISTIC! Hearing aids are not going to give you normal hearing, but will improve communication.