Party On! Holiday Party Tips

November 29, 2016 9:43 am

holiday-party-photoIt’s your annual holiday party, held at party house or restaurant. The room is crowded, a band is in the far corner blasting a holiday song and the din of conversation rises to a steady roar. You can barely hear your own thoughts when who comes over, but your boss. He has a mouthful of food and big smile on his face. He asks a question and eagerly waits for your response. You think it has something to do with Oscar the Grouch.  Hmmm. Do you take a chance and offer an opinion that Oscar is simply a misunderstood Muppet, do you simply nod or do you ask him “What?” only to be faced with this same dilemma again.

There may be no easy fix, but perhaps with a little foresight, the stress of this type of situation can be lessened a bit. Many of us will be partaking in festivities that involve, among other things, noisy conditions, making communication challenging.  It’s often coined that communication is a two way street and by addressing both sides, perhaps these difficult situations can be made easier.

Move away from noise sources

Look for a side room at an event, one away from the band or DJ if that is a problem. If possible, turn down the noise source, such as a TV. Hearing in noise is very difficult, even with adequate hearing. Situating yourself in the corner of the room, not in the middle, may cut down on some of the extraneous noise. As a listener, cut yourself some slack, and realize you will not hear 100% of the conversation in an extremely noisy environment. Even those with ‘perfect’ hearing find it hard to hear in some settings.  Also, don’t be shy about asking a hostess to turn down the background music. Chances are you are not the only one it is bothering and others may thank you.

Don’t talk with your mouthful

Seems obvious enough, but your mother was right! This is not only rude, but can affect speaking style and make it hard for a listener to understand.  Chew, swallow, speak!

One Conversation at a Time

This may be hard for all the multi-taskers out there, but you can only really listen to one person at a time. Give your full attention to the one speaker, waiting your turn before you speak and definitely put away phone when conversing!  That not only diverts attention, but tells the speaker they are not that important.

Speak face to face

Shouting from across the room or speaking to the back of a head is a sure way not to be heard. Looking directly at the listener, face to face at eye level, is key. The sound energy is directed towards the listener who can also read facial expression to gather more of the meaning of the message.

Slow down the rate of speech

This is probably one of the most challenging things to do. We live in a fast paced world where we have to speak quickly to get in our two cents. Slowing our rate as we speak also forces us to articulate better, allowing the listener to keep up with the conversation and hear the speech sounds better.

Most importantly, Relax and enjoy yourself!

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