Concentrate on the person you wish to hear. Pay attention. Listen closely.
Don’t pretend that you understand if you don’t. It will cause confusion.
Ask people to repeat or speak more clearly if possible.
Let people know that you have difficult hearing and suggest what they can do to help you hear more clearly.
Request that people face you when speaking if possible.
Watch for visual cues. Pay attention to the lips, facial expressions and gestures, and body language.
Try to use lighting to your advantage. Try to have the light come from behind you. If there is a glare hiding the speakers face it will be difficult to pick up visual cues.
Try to speak in small groups where possible. One-to one conversations are easier than group conversations.
Noisy places are a problem for everyone, even those with normal hearing. The more practice you have at parties, meetings, theater, movies, church, and other challenging environments, the easier it will become to separate speech from background noise.
Encourage the use of any electronic systems that are available at meetings or at church. These may include induction loops or infrared systems..
Go early to events so that you can sit as close to the speaker as possible. Find a spot where you can best hear as well as see.
When listening over the telephone, use the T-switch (if applicable) and place the receiver close to the microphone.
Watch the speaker even if listening is not difficult. It helps develop the habit of paying close attention.
Try not to interrupt the speaker before he / she finishes a sentence. You may be able to get the meaning of the whole sentence if you understand the end.
If you miss something, ask for clarification.
Let people know what you did understand so they can fill you in on what you missed.
Try to know what the topic is. It will be easier to follow the conversation if you are not coming in at the middle without knowing the subject.
Listen for the “key words” in sentences in order to follow ideas.
Listen “in context”. The ideas are often spelled out by the situations. You may be able to anticipate words or phrases that will probably be used.
You may be able to guess missed words using situational and contextual clues.
Try to be aware of your peoples’ interests. If you know they have favorite topics it may make it easier to follow.
Stay up on current events. When you have knowledge about a topic, you can more easily pick out key words, names, etc. Read the daily newspaper and to be aware of the programs many people may watch, even if you don’t watch TV.
Talk to family and friends about things going on in your area so you have an idea what may be topics of conversations at gatherings.