Setting up a home office and using teleconference tools create a variety of challenges whether or not you have hearing loss. But for people who do have the condition, these problems are magnified.
Below is a list of tips for both hearing-impaired and normal-hearing employees that could help improve the experience for everybody.
Tips for Running a Virtual Meeting
Introduce everyone. If your meeting size is relatively small, try to introduce everybody; if you are running a large meeting, take the time to at least introduce the speakers on the agenda. This gives people time to adjust their sound settings.
Use video. While bandwidth issues may pose a problem if everyone has their video on, try to use it if you can. Again, if you have a large meeting, ask at least the main speakers to keep their video on. Visual cues and lip-reading help people with hearing loss to follow the conversation better.
Check the lighting. Again, visual cues are important. A camera doesn’t help anyone if the lighting is poor.
Use mute when not speaking. Background noise is distracting, whether you have hearing loss or not. Ask people who are not actively speaking to mute their microphones to limit background sounds such as typing, music, kids playing and dogs barking.
Wait your turn. Sometimes there is a lag during video calls, so some interruptions are inevitable. However, you should try extra hard to not interrupt or speak over others. Some conference platforms have a “raise hand” feature which is helpful for preventing interruptions.
Record the meeting. This way, if someone misses some key information, they can go back and listen later.
Tips for Attending a Virtual Meeting with Hearing Loss
Sync hearing aids. Some hearing aid models can be synced to your device via Bluetooth for optimum clarity.
Wear noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones block distracting background noise and also help with clarity if you don’t have Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids.
Advocate for yourself. If the people running the meeting aren’t following the above tips, don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate your listening needs.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.