How to Communicate While Wearing a Mask

Three green surgical masks on a table.

Pardee UNC Health Care recently shared information on how to communicate while masked in their Health Care for Employers and Employees newsletter.

As people begin to resume activities, wearing a cloth face covering while in public settings has been encouraged to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Communicating while wearing a mask can be difficult as words are muffled and facial expressions and lip-reading cannot be relied on. UNC Health Care discussed these difficulties and suggested four tips to communicating while wearing a mask:

  1. Don’t shout. Speaking in an unnatural way is not sustainable and often distorts the quality of speech. Stick to regular volume and maintain good eye contact.
  2. Take your time speaking. Allow more space between your words to enable the listener to better follow your conversation.
  3. Ask follow-up questions. Follow up with the listener to ensure he or she understood the content of your message. Sometimes people will smile and nod even when they didn’t understand all that was said.
  4. Be mindful of your environment. Think about your environment and try to move away from any type of distracting noise.

Visit healthtalk.unchealthcare.org for additional COVID-19 information and tips.