Do you have friends or relatives who seem to have problems with their hearing?

Or perhaps you have a friend with hearing aids who still doesn’t hear well, especially in noisy situations?

There is a technique called “Clear Speech” which is relatively easy to do and has been shown to result in at least 20% increase in clarity. It really helps, especially for people with hearing problems or when speaking in noisy background situations. See top tips below:

  • Slow down your speaking rate, with more precise pronunciation. This involves emphasizing the beginnings and ends of words.
  • Secondly, raise the volume of your voice slightly, but don’t yell or shout.
  • Lastly, pause between key pieces of information. It’s the pauses which give people time to process the information. An example is: My husband’s brother is coming to visit us in Auckland in January. Try using the following technique: My husband’s brother (pause) is coming to visit us (pause) in January.
  • Be sure you are face-to-face with your communication partner so he/she can get facial expressions, gestures and lip reading cues. Talking to someone from behind or another room is difficult for anyone with a hearing problem.
  • Minimize background noise if possible. Turn down the music and pick a quiet area if possible (ie away from the barista and kitchen and any noisy groups).
  • Good lighting is important as well – so your listener can see your face. Be sure to avoid a glare from the window or back-lighting (sitting with the window behind you) which can put your face in shadows.

If you have concerns about a friend or family member’s hearing – encourage them to get a hearing test. If they have hearing loss – encourage them to try hearing aids and wear them every day! They really do help!

Dr-Teresa-BurnsFor more information about hearing, communication and hearing aids you can contact Teresa Burns, Audiologist and Owner of Teresa Burns Hearing Ltd, Auckland New Zealand.

(09) 475 9849 or