Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why is it easy to lipread some people and not others?

Patricia Kricos, PhD with the University of Florida has researched lipreading success.  She found that lipreading success depended on the speaking skills of the person talking.  Here are two of her findings.

  • Asking a person to speak more clearly can increase lipreading effectiveness by 20%.
  • With practice of less than an hour, partners of people with a hearing loss can learn to improve their ability to be understood by 40% or more.

There are three main aspects of speech that impact lipreading.  Thse are the rate at which you speak, precise pronunciation of words, and slight pauses between phrases. 

Speaking a bit slower can be very helpful.  Keep in mind you need to use a slow but natural rate of speech.  Say words as clearly as possible without exaggerating your mouth movements.  Think about each letter in the word as you pronounce them.  This will help you to speak more clearly.

Also, use short but meaningful pauses.  The pauses need to be short so that they do not interrupt the flow of the conversation.  Pausing, helps the listener figure out what is said before more information is added. For example, “My husband's sister is coming to visit us in Florida in April” VS “My husband's sister (pause) is coming to visit us (pause) in April”.
Often family and friends are willing to re-consider how they speak.  Things they can do to help you hear, benefits them as well.  Just keep in mind as they get caught up in the conversation, they will likely forget to think about how they are speaking.

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

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