Preparing for the Talk: because lipreaders need to concentrate on your face, it would really help us if you wear a plain, preferably dark, shirt/top that doesn't strain our eyes or produce visual distortions. Earrings and necklaces can distract, reflecting light into our eyes, making it harder for us to lipread so it helps if you keep jewellery to a minimum. Plan your talk to be 'short and sweet' (eg talk: 30 mins, questions: 15 mins). A written summary of the key information to give us at the end of your talk would be helpful.
During the Talk: please use the induction loop microphone if provided – it helps us hear you more clearly. We can't lipread if we can't see your lips clearly so please keep the microphone and your hands away from your face. Please face us when speaking, keeping your head and body as still as possible. Do ask us if your voice is loud enough before you start as lip readers combine whatever they can hear along with the patterns they see on the lips. It helps us if you don't speak too quickly but still keep a natural rhythm to your speech, using natural facial expression and gestures. Please use plain language, avoiding jargon and abbreviations as these are difficult for us to lipread. Tell us if you are going to start a new topic or tell a joke as this helps us lipread. If there is more than one speaker, please speak one at a time and indicate who is speaking next as we can only lipread one person at a time.
Visual Aids: are very helpful - they give us a concentration break and help us to follow the talk. When using any visual aids please turn and face the audience before resuming speaking.
You may find these tips useful when speaking to any group of people – hearing loss is a hidden disability; there will be people with a hearing loss present in any audience who will benefit from your using these tips.
These tips were compiled by the Kirkcaldy Lipreading Class in May/June 2015.