How to communicate effectively whilst wearing a face mask

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Face masks can sometimes make communicating harder than usual. It can be hard to know who people are, to understand what you are saying, to hear speech clearly and to understand what people are feeling.

How can you make sure you are being inclusive while wearing a face mask?

Have your photo ID badge showing or even print out a larger picture of yourself, laminate it and pin it to your uniform or apron.

Always introduce yourself, tell them your name and tell them what you are going to do.

Use eye contact if possible.

Give more time than usual for people to respond.

People may not be able to see your mouth but you can always smile with your eyes and tone of voice.

Use body language and gestures to reinforce your message.

Speak clearly, slowly and slightly louder than you would normally talk.

Use simple language, use fewer words than normal.

Nod your head for yes, shake your head for no.

Accept that communication whilst wearing a mask takes more time and plan for this.



Adult Learning Disability Team, South West and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust