A mask can muffle. Speak louder and enunciate.
Listeners can no longer watch your lips.
- Confirm you’re being understood (especially with non-native speakers).
- Slow down.
Smile more—it makes you sound more attractive.
- Exaggerate your smile to show “eye-crinkling”, which suggests positivity.
- Use humor: “Can you tell I’m smiling?”
Intonation—the expressive up and down of your voice–becomes more important than ever. Kick it up a notch.
Use the person’s name to keep your listener engaged.
- Wave, raise hand, thumbs up.
- Nod your head, cock it or move it.
- Eyebrow movement can animate you.
A mask can distract from listening. Activate your active-listening skills:
- Feedback becomes more important.
- Understanding: “I see, yes, right, uh huh, great.”
- Agreement: “That works, I agree, perfect, good idea.”
- Turn body toward or lean toward speaker.
- Make eye contact with speaker.
Use techniques that fit your style and situation.