[Image by Alexandra Koch of Pixabay]

Now that we’re enduring a pandemic that began two years ago, we’re all accustomed to the necessity of wearing a facial mask to ensure our safety as well as the safety of others. However, many of us find it quite challenging to communicate while wearing a mask.  So, what can we do?  Here are eleven techniques:

  1.  Always ensure you have the full attention of your communication partner or partners.  That may involve getting their attention or having them turn and face you.
  2. Wear a mask that fits you properly and doesn’t slide or move when you speak.  (This will require constant adjustment to your mask which may be quite distracting.)
  3. Consider selecting a mask that is secured by fitting over your head as opposed to your ears.
  4. If necessary and if feasible, think about relocating to a quieter area for your conversation.
  5. When it is your turn to speak, use a reduced rate of speech even though you may be a rapid speaker.
  6. Exaggerate your words to increase your intelligibility and therefore be more easily understood.
  7. Speak with a louder volume to be more readily heard.
  8. Remember to use any gestures to help convey your message.  Don’t forget to include your hands.
  9. Although a large percentage of your face is obscured, you’ll want to make sure you use your eyes as well as your eyebrows to help increase your non-verbal language.
  10. Keep a pen or pencil and paper handy in the event you need to write down something you’re saying or draw an image. This will help with clarity.
  11. You’ll want to ask the other person to repeat back what you said.  This is referred to as active listening. (Also, repeat back what your communication partner has said to ensure you heard it accurately.)

This is a good list to get you started.  As always, I welcome your contact at 518-664-6004 or dale@profitablespeech.com