Monday, November 2, 2020

Communicating with the 'Mask' on

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

With the Covid19 virus scare, the entire world has adapted to the mandatory need of wearing masks and maintaining social distance. While this is certainly ‘the way’ to control the spread of virus, communicating with masks can be challenging sometimes. The reason being, people can’t see our expressions.  Here are some tips to avoid miscommunication while conversing with the mask on:

Practice talking with the mask on. Although it sounds insignificant, it helps. Well, perhaps for couple of minutes, you can stand in front of the mirror at home and practice.

Remember the acronym PAVE:

  1. Pause:  Intentionally pause in between so that the person/people you are talking to can respond or join the conversation if they wish to. That way the conversation becomes interactive.      

  2. Accentuate:  Stress on the important phrases and words. Use distinctive intonations. This helps in avoiding monotony and conveying the right vibes. 

  3. Volume: Watch out for the volume of your voice. Although masks can lead to muffled voice, it is important to ensure that we do not end up shouting.  

  4. Emotion: It is always nice to be expressive while talking with the mask on. That way, the person/people you are communicating with, can gauge your emotions behind the conversation. All the same, be careful not to overdo it.

Body language and gestures help in transmitting the exact message to the audience. At this point of time with the corona virus spreading like wildfire, shaking hands will not be the right thing to do. However, we can always wave at our audience. A friendly wave is a wonderful gesture.

True, with the mask on, your smile will be hidden. However, whenever we smile, our eyes smile too. This natural smile of our eyes will make the conversation all the more pleasant.


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