A few days ago, I said that I was on the hunt for simple, yet effective deaf-friendly strategies that most people would be able to apply in life.

Here’s a basic one.

As much as you can, articulate as if you’re in an interview.

To be more specific, suppose you’re on the job market with a freshly minted Ph.D. In today’s situation, you may be competing with 300 other qualified candidates for one tenure-track faculty position at your dream school. If you manage to get an interview, you should feel proud, but it’s not a job guarantee. A competent interview means you remain in the applicant pool, and a terrible one … well, you get the idea.

So during that interview, what are the odds that you’ll mumble, slur or fail to fully project your voice as your interviewer stands across you? If you’re serious about getting the job, I think you’ll articulate very clearly.

But do most people extend this kind of voice in informal conversations?

I don’t believe that’s the case. Certainly for me, I pay much more attention to my speech when I’m giving a lecture or talking to a prominent person. But I need to work on extending that mentality to all conversations. I want to always make a good impression on my conversationalist by speaking as well as I can. If everyone else tried to do the same thing, we would all benefit.

That’s why getting into a habit like this is useful.

So please, as much as possible, do the following:

  • Project your voice and articulate by moving your lips. This is similar to not mumbling.
  • Focus on pronouncing the ends of your phrases to avoid sound tailing off.
  • Don’t talk in a rushed manner; relax and know that, for the most part, everything will be okay.
  • Don’t talk abnormally loud so that hearing people would wonder if there’s something wrong.

In my case, the first point I listed is the most helpful for me when I hear. But for those who may lack more “raw” hearing even with the help of assisted listening devices, the fourth may be more effective. But the first one, in my opinion, should take priority.