three Methods to Get Your Level Throughout Whereas Sporting a Masks – Ideas From An Award-winning Speech Coach
By Cheryl Chambers, Mississippi State University
You wear your mask, keep yourself three feet away from others, and make a commitment to be safe. However, the steps you take to minimize your risk of COVID-19 may also affect your interactions with others.
When you stroll down the aisle of a supermarket, you approach someone who looks familiar to you. To avoid uncomfortable exchanges, give them a friendly smile. Only when you are over do you remember: your smile was hidden behind a mask. When you unload your groceries at home, you see your neighbors. You excitedly ask her how she is doing, but if she doesn’t answer, you worry that your mask has muffled your voice.
As the head coach of the Mississippi State University speech and debate team, my job is to deliver effective communication. Without question, masks have disrupted social interactions. However, communication has many components. You can customize and improve your communication by focusing on some of the other parts that are not hidden behind a mask.
Facial expressions are the primary way people display emotions and decipher the feelings of others. Happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, fear, and surprise can be communicated through facial expressions alone. However, when part of the face is masked, these clues become more difficult to see.
If you cannot read someone else’s emotional state, your ability to put yourself in their shoes may be compromised. If your own mask is hiding your emotional state, others may not be able to empathize with you. Wearing a mask can also make you feel more distracted and confident, and further weaken your connection with others.
Fortunately, you can regain control of communications by working with what you have left – your eyes. The best way to improve understanding of a masked person is to look them in the eye – which may be easier said than done. Eye contact triggers self-confidence, uses up additional brain power and becomes uncomfortable after just three seconds. Keep in mind, however, that eye contact also makes you appear smarter and more trustworthy.
You will be surprised how much information is transmitted by the body itself.
For example, when someone is happy, they stand up straight and lift their head. When they’re sad, they slouch and drop their heads. and when they are angry their whole body tenses. Learning how people use their bodies to convey emotions can help reduce the uncertainty you experience when communicating with someone in a mask.
Also, be aware of your own body language. When you are engaged in a conversation, you can appear more attentive by turning your body towards the individual, leaning forward, or nodding. To let another person know that you want to start speaking, straighten your posture, hold up your index finger, or nod more often. Finally, note that mimicking someone else’s demeanor can make them like you and even agree with you.
Don’t forget the impact of your voice. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. In addition to the actual words, you’ll also use volume, tone, pauses, and fillers to get your message across. For example, a lower whisper can indicate sadness or insecurity, while a higher cry can indicate anger or intensity.
Try this – say the phrase “I didn’t see you there” as if you were scared. Now pretend you’re happy. Confused now. Probably anyone who listens to you can easily identify your feelings without seeing you. While studies show that when masks don’t change your voice significantly, you may feel like your speech is muffled when you wear a mask.
If you feel the need to speak louder, be aware that raising your voice can change the message you are trying to send. If you change the tone of your voice, the whole conversation can change. So try to improve your pronunciation instead of increasing the volume.
Put everything together
While masks can make conversation more daunting, you are able to communicate even when part of your face is hidden.
Before your next interaction with a friend, think about how you can improve your connection. Pull your hair back so they can see your eyes clearly and find a quiet place to talk. Use your body and voice to convey the emotions you fear your mask is hiding. Perhaps most importantly, you don’t expect it to go perfectly. As with any conversation, mistakes are made.
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If someone cannot understand you, try rephrase your statement, slow it down, and say it more. If you’re having trouble understanding someone else, try asking narrow-ended questions such as: B. “Would you like to go to the park?” Rather than open ended questions such as “Where do you want to go?”.
In any case, continue to take the right steps to protect yourself, but do not neglect your relationships. Social distance doesn’t have to be socially distant.
Cheryl Chambers, Communications Lecturer and Head Coach, MSU Speech & Debate Team, Mississippi State University
This article is republished by The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.