How to Hear the 5 Types of Troublesome Talkers

Are you used to turning your hearing aids up to full blast but still find yourself unable to follow what a person is saying? It can be very hard to communicate, particularly with people who have developed undesirable speaking habits. Fear not! The only thing those troublesome talkers need is a friendly reminder that they could be communicating a lot better. Let us look at the different type of talkers we meet and how we can help communicate with them easier:

  • The Road Runner – This person speaks very quickly and is hard to understand. They are very entertaining to speak with — as long as we can follow!
  • What you can do: You don’t need to be a Wiley Coyote to communicate with them! Just politely ask them to slow down and speak clearly.
  • The Secret Agent – This person speaks very quietly…almost in a whisper. You might think they are telling a secret, but don’t be fooled – they’re just soft spoken.
  • What you can do: Don’t go incognito, simply ask them to speak up and project their voice.
  • The Wallflower – This person will talk to you from entirely different room and may even get frustrated if you do not respond. You love them like a flower but walls are a great divider.
  • What you can do: Ask them to get your attention and make sure that they are within your line of sight before communicating. Don’t pick on them – just remind them with care.
  • The Ninja – This person always has their mouth covered or uses limited mouth movement so you can’t read their lips.
  • What you can do: Hold onto your dragon star! Ask them to make their face visible so you can see (and hear) what they are saying.
  • The Expressionist – This person uses gestures and body movement to express their point. In my opinion the Expressionist is most creative of them all and the easiest to follow because of their movement and animation when speaking.
  • What you can do: Listen and enjoy the artistic expression at play in their communication style and ask them to slow down and speak clearly if needed.

Communication is more than just hearing. You may need to ask someone to slow down and speak clearly more than once – maybe even more than 100 times! However, by reminding them with love and grace you will be giving them strategies for better communication that will go beyond your conversation.

Alissa Horneland, BC-HIS
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner