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Hello? What did you say behind that mask?

Masks muffle sound, making it more difficult to understand speech and some higher-pitched voices. Since a mask takes away our ability to read lips and see facial expressions, it's particularly difficult to decipher what a person is saying. Nothing is more frustrating than asking someone to repeat their sentence three times.

Here are some tips from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to help you to better communicate especially when you're wearing a mask.

- Minimize the noise from other sources (It might be a good idea to shut off the background music in your office.)

-Face the person you're talking to directly, and make sure nothing is blocking your view. It seems obvious but many times we're not making eye contact when we talk with someone.

-Talk a little louder and a little slower.

-Use your hands to point to notable items on forms or brochures.

-Ask the person if they understood you; if not, you may have to say it in a different way or even write it down.

-Move to a quieter place especially if there are other people talking in the same area.

Wearing something that covers half your face isn't conducive to good communication but if you make an extra effort, you'll be able to make it easier for people to understand you.

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