Ten helpful tips to nail your virtual holiday party
By: Dr. Molly E. Bishop, AuD., FAAA, CCC-A
The holiday season is the most wonderful time to connect with family and friends. While we may not be able to see our loved ones in-person this year, we can still look forward to virtual holiday celebrations. For those with hearing loss, virtual communication can be frustrating. In order to help, we have put together a quick list of tips and tricks to make virtual communication a bit easier this holiday season!
- Be mindful of lighting
Make sure that the light source is in front of you to optimize facial lighting. If the room light is behind the speaker, it can blur out facial features.
- Encourage video use
We all know it’s hard to look good at home these days, but it’s important for those who are hard of hearing to see people’s faces while communicating online. This can help to fill in the gaps that they may miss with their ears!
- Try to eliminate background noise
As much as you can, try to eliminate any noise in the background. This noise can compete with the speech and make it more difficult for someone to understand what you are saying.
- Have a brief check-in
Before you start your virtual session, check-in to make sure that everyone can hear what is being said. This way you can make changes if someone is struggling to hear.
- Avoid putting hands on or near mouth
When speaking, it is important to keep hands away from your mouth. Lip reading can be a crucial part of virtual communication for those who are hard of hearing.
- Maximize the audio environment
It may be beneficial to use a quality headset rather than relying on the computer speakers.
- Remain transparent and ask for clarification
If you do not understand what is being said, someone to repeat themselves or to
try rephrasing what they said. Try to be as transparent about your hearing and ask for what you need to communicate effectively.
- Stream audio to your hearing aids
Audio can be streamed either directly or through an accessory from a Bluetooth device like cellphone or computer to your hearing aids. Ask your audiologist about this function!
- Use visual aids
If you are still having difficulty with the audio, use a dry erase board or the “chatroom” feature to help clarify comments.
- Real-time captioning
Most video conference applications have auto-transcription features. For more information, you can google your specific application to see how to enable live transcriptions!
From all of us at Taylor Listening Center, we want to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season!