We have all had to make changes in this time of COVID-19. Besides wearing masks and staying six feet apart from friends and family, work as we know it has changed for many Americans. Working remotely may cut down on your commute, but it can be challenging, especially for people with hearing loss.
How Work Has Changed
One of the biggest changes is how you interact with your coworkers. While you could stop by their desk to have a face-to-face conversation before, problems now need to be ironed out over email or phone.
These options typically work well for someone with hearing loss. Many newer hearing aids can wirelessly connect to the user’s smartphone, allowing the phonecall to be streamed right to the ear without any distracting background noise.
But there has been a new addition to the communication landscape – video calls. To help you (and to help inform coworkers who don’t have hearing loss) the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has put together the following list of tips.
Tips to Improve Virtual Meetings
If you wear hearing aids, talk to your Augusta ENT audiologist to see if your model can connect to your computer via Bluetooth. This will prevent background noise that makes speech harder to understand.
Use noise-canceling headphones, as they make it easier for you to follow the dialogue of others in the meeting without distracting background noise.
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself by speaking up. If you can’t hear someone, let them know. They may be trying to participate in the meeting from another room or accidently muted themselves.
Tips to Make Meetings Easier to Hear
- Introduce all the participants on the call. This helps everyone put a face and a name to a voice.
- Position your lighting in front of you rather than behind. Back lighting makes it harder for others to see your face.
- Wear headphones or a headset to improve your sound quality.
- Don’t block your mouth when speaking. Keep your hands, hair and clothing away from your face.
- Mute yourself when you are not speaking. This cuts down on any unwanted background noise.
- Speak when it is your turn. This may be challenging because of the inevitable delay in video calls, but try your best not to interrupt others.
- Record the meeting so if participants missed crucial information they can go back and watch it later. They can even watch it at a slower pace if needed.
For more tips on how to improve your communication, contact the experts at Augusta ENT today.