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From my experience as a lipreader, here are three things – alongside a sense of humour – that I’ve found helpful. They all begin with ‘P’ which, incidentally, looks like ‘M’ and ‘B’ on the lips (try saying ‘Pat Bat Mat’ while watching your reflection in a mirror).

  • Patience

It can be easy to give up, both for the lipreader and the person being lipread. ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter’ is a common thing for someone who struggles to understand to be told, often after several attempts at understanding. It makes me feel small inside. But I’ve learned that sometimes it really doesn’t matter. Like the time I didn’t heed the ‘oh it doesn’t matter’ and nagged away, finally understanding that what ’didn’t matter’ was the cricket score which, as the speaker well knew, to me really didn’t matter.  After several times of misunderstanding something, I often just say ‘yes’. It doesn’t mean I’ve understood – ‘yes’ frequently turns out not to make sense – but I say it because, with every missed understanding, I feel a bit sillier.

  • Positioning

To state the obvious, lipreading requires the lipreader to be able to see the speaker’s lips. Make sure the light is good, and not behind the person speaking (that throws their face into shadow). Move if necessary. I used to be embarrassed to say, ‘the light has dimmed, and I can’t see you, can we move?’ but now I’ve realised that moving makes for easier conversation for both parties, plus it lessens the likelihood of ‘chair not cheese’ misunderstandings.

  • Phrasing

Rephrasing something misunderstood by a lipreader is important. I find that, if I am incorrectly reading a word or phrase on someone’s lips, the wrong reading becomes more and more embedded in my mind with every repetition. Often, however, if the meaning is rephrased, I will understand. Yes, I’m afraid speaking for someone to lipread might require a bit of mental gymnastics, too.  All the people who perform mental gymnastics for me in this way certainly deserve gold medals.

George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’

Lipreading is about communication.  But the mental gymnastics often required by both speaker and lipreader can result in that communication being misconstrued. Hopefully the above thoughts offer a few pointers to help with communication. I know there are more, please contact us with your own tips, and also perhaps how lip-readers can help lip-speakers.  ,

(For more tips about lipreading, including with reference to masks: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/blog/7-tips-for-communicating-with-lipreaders-while-face-coverings-are-mandatory/)

From my experience as a lipreader, here are three things – alongside a sense of humour – that I’ve found helpful. They all begin with ‘P’ which, incidentally, looks like ‘M’ and ‘B’ on the lips (try saying ‘Pat Bat Mat’ while watching your reflection in a mirror).

  • Patience

It can be easy to give up, both for the lipreader and the person being lipread. ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter’ is a common thing for someone who struggles to understand to be told, often after several attempts at understanding. It makes me feel small inside. But I’ve learned that sometimes it really doesn’t matter. Like the time I didn’t heed the ‘oh it doesn’t matter’ and nagged away, finally understanding that what ’didn’t matter’ was the cricket score which, as the speaker well knew, to me really didn’t matter.  After several times of misunderstanding something, I often just say ‘yes’. It doesn’t mean I’ve understood – ‘yes’ frequently turns out not to make sense – but I say it because, with every missed understanding, I feel a bit sillier.

  • Positioning

To state the obvious, lipreading requires the lipreader to be able to see the speaker’s lips. Make sure the light is good, and not behind the person speaking (that throws their face into shadow). Move if necessary. I used to be embarrassed to say, ‘the light has dimmed, and I can’t see you, can we move?’ but now I’ve realised that moving makes for easier conversation for both parties, plus it lessens the likelihood of ‘chair not cheese’ misunderstandings.

  • Phrasing

Rephrasing something misunderstood by a lipreader is important. I find that, if I am incorrectly reading a word or phrase on someone’s lips, the wrong reading becomes more and more embedded in my mind with every repetition. Often, however, if the meaning is rephrased, I will understand. Yes, I’m afraid speaking for someone to lipread might require a bit of mental gymnastics, too.  All the people who perform mental gymnastics for me in this way certainly deserve gold medals.

George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’

Lipreading is about communication.  But the mental gymnastics often required by both speaker and lipreader can result in that communication being misconstrued. Hopefully the above thoughts offer a few pointers to help with communication. I know there are more, please contact us with your own tips, and also perhaps how lip-readers can help lip-speakers.  ,

(For more tips about lipreading, including with reference to masks: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/blog/7-tips-for-communicating-with-lipreaders-while-face-coverings-are-mandatory/)

From my experience as a lipreader, here are three things – alongside a sense of humour – that I’ve found helpful. They all begin with ‘P’ which, incidentally, looks like ‘M’ and ‘B’ on the lips (try saying ‘Pat Bat Mat’ while watching your reflection in a mirror).

  • Patience

It can be easy to give up, both for the lipreader and the person being lipread. ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter’ is a common thing for someone who struggles to understand to be told, often after several attempts at understanding. It makes me feel small inside. But I’ve learned that sometimes it really doesn’t matter. Like the time I didn’t heed the ‘oh it doesn’t matter’ and nagged away, finally understanding that what ’didn’t matter’ was the cricket score which, as the speaker well knew, to me really didn’t matter.  After several times of misunderstanding something, I often just say ‘yes’. It doesn’t mean I’ve understood – ‘yes’ frequently turns out not to make sense – but I say it because, with every missed understanding, I feel a bit sillier.

  • Positioning

To state the obvious, lipreading requires the lipreader to be able to see the speaker’s lips. Make sure the light is good, and not behind the person speaking (that throws their face into shadow). Move if necessary. I used to be embarrassed to say, ‘the light has dimmed, and I can’t see you, can we move?’ but now I’ve realised that moving makes for easier conversation for both parties, plus it lessens the likelihood of ‘chair not cheese’ misunderstandings.

  • Phrasing

Rephrasing something misunderstood by a lipreader is important. I find that, if I am incorrectly reading a word or phrase on someone’s lips, the wrong reading becomes more and more embedded in my mind with every repetition. Often, however, if the meaning is rephrased, I will understand. Yes, I’m afraid speaking for someone to lipread might require a bit of mental gymnastics, too.  All the people who perform mental gymnastics for me in this way certainly deserve gold medals.

George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’

Lipreading is about communication.  But the mental gymnastics often required by both speaker and lipreader can result in that communication being misconstrued. Hopefully the above thoughts offer a few pointers to help with communication. I know there are more, please contact us with your own tips, and also perhaps how lip-readers can help lip-speakers.  ,

(For more tips about lipreading, including with reference to masks: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/blog/7-tips-for-communicating-with-lipreaders-while-face-coverings-are-mandatory/)

From my experience as a lipreader, here are three things – alongside a sense of humour – that I’ve found helpful. They all begin with ‘P’ which, incidentally, looks like ‘M’ and ‘B’ on the lips (try saying ‘Pat Bat Mat’ while watching your reflection in a mirror).

  • Patience

It can be easy to give up, both for the lipreader and the person being lipread. ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter’ is a common thing for someone who struggles to understand to be told, often after several attempts at understanding. It makes me feel small inside. But I’ve learned that sometimes it really doesn’t matter. Like the time I didn’t heed the ‘oh it doesn’t matter’ and nagged away, finally understanding that what ’didn’t matter’ was the cricket score which, as the speaker well knew, to me really didn’t matter.  After several times of misunderstanding something, I often just say ‘yes’. It doesn’t mean I’ve understood – ‘yes’ frequently turns out not to make sense – but I say it because, with every missed understanding, I feel a bit sillier.

  • Positioning

To state the obvious, lipreading requires the lipreader to be able to see the speaker’s lips. Make sure the light is good, and not behind the person speaking (that throws their face into shadow). Move if necessary. I used to be embarrassed to say, ‘the light has dimmed, and I can’t see you, can we move?’ but now I’ve realised that moving makes for easier conversation for both parties, plus it lessens the likelihood of ‘chair not cheese’ misunderstandings.

  • Phrasing

Rephrasing something misunderstood by a lipreader is important. I find that, if I am incorrectly reading a word or phrase on someone’s lips, the wrong reading becomes more and more embedded in my mind with every repetition. Often, however, if the meaning is rephrased, I will understand. Yes, I’m afraid speaking for someone to lipread might require a bit of mental gymnastics, too.  All the people who perform mental gymnastics for me in this way certainly deserve gold medals.

George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’

Lipreading is about communication.  But the mental gymnastics often required by both speaker and lipreader can result in that communication being misconstrued. Hopefully the above thoughts offer a few pointers to help with communication. I know there are more, please contact us with your own tips, and also perhaps how lip-readers can help lip-speakers.  ,

(For more tips about lipreading, including with reference to masks: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/blog/7-tips-for-communicating-with-lipreaders-while-face-coverings-are-mandatory/)

From my experience as a lipreader, here are three things – alongside a sense of humour – that I’ve found helpful. They all begin with ‘P’ which, incidentally, looks like ‘M’ and ‘B’ on the lips (try saying ‘Pat Bat Mat’ while watching your reflection in a mirror).

  • Patience

It can be easy to give up, both for the lipreader and the person being lipread. ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter’ is a common thing for someone who struggles to understand to be told, often after several attempts at understanding. It makes me feel small inside. But I’ve learned that sometimes it really doesn’t matter. Like the time I didn’t heed the ‘oh it doesn’t matter’ and nagged away, finally understanding that what ’didn’t matter’ was the cricket score which, as the speaker well knew, to me really didn’t matter.  After several times of misunderstanding something, I often just say ‘yes’. It doesn’t mean I’ve understood – ‘yes’ frequently turns out not to make sense – but I say it because, with every missed understanding, I feel a bit sillier.

  • Positioning

To state the obvious, lipreading requires the lipreader to be able to see the speaker’s lips. Make sure the light is good, and not behind the person speaking (that throws their face into shadow). Move if necessary. I used to be embarrassed to say, ‘the light has dimmed, and I can’t see you, can we move?’ but now I’ve realised that moving makes for easier conversation for both parties, plus it lessens the likelihood of ‘chair not cheese’ misunderstandings.

  • Phrasing

Rephrasing something misunderstood by a lipreader is important. I find that, if I am incorrectly reading a word or phrase on someone’s lips, the wrong reading becomes more and more embedded in my mind with every repetition. Often, however, if the meaning is rephrased, I will understand. Yes, I’m afraid speaking for someone to lipread might require a bit of mental gymnastics, too.  All the people who perform mental gymnastics for me in this way certainly deserve gold medals.

George Bernard Shaw said, ‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.’

Lipreading is about communication.  But the mental gymnastics often required by both speaker and lipreader can result in that communication being misconstrued. Hopefully the above thoughts offer a few pointers to help with communication. I know there are more, please contact us with your own tips, and also perhaps how lip-readers can help lip-speakers.  ,

(For more tips about lipreading, including with reference to masks: https://www.hearingdogs.org.uk/blog/7-tips-for-communicating-with-lipreaders-while-face-coverings-are-mandatory/)