Position yourself at the eye level of the person speaking, at a distance of 1 to 2m. If one ear is better than the other, position your better ear towards the speaker.
If there is light in your eyes or if there is a shadow on the speaker, move around.
Watch the lips. You can gain a lot of information simply through closely watching the person speaking – their lip movements, facial expressions, gestures and body language. Wear your glasses when people are talking to you. Look at their lips, not their eyes.
Listen. Don’t feel you always need to talk. People with hearing loss sometimes start to miss conversational cues from others. If you are in a group situation, pausing for a moment can give you time to understand what has been said and catch up on the conversation.
If you’ve missed something in a conversation, you can help the speaker by being specific about what you have missed. For instance, you could say “I didn’t catch the last bit of that sentence”. This reduces frustration on both sides and keeps the conversation flowing smoothly. You can ask the speaker to “say that in a different way” so the words you couldn’t make out can be replaced with words that are easier to hear. Another tactic might be to ask the speaker to spell the word you are having difficulty understanding.
Reduce background noise – turn off the television or radio, close windows or doors facing noisy areas, and move away from any other noise sources.
Enhance the acoustics of a room where you often have conversations. Wooden floors and lack of fabrics will make it harder to listen.
Be assertive. Tell speakers if you need them to need stand closer, speak more slowly, keep their hand away from their mouth, or if you need to move away from any background noise.
Be positive. Being able to laugh when you make mistakes in conversation is far more helpful than feeling negative and withdrawing. Concentration is needed to listen effectively, and you’ll concentrate better if you are happy.