In a recent blog I talked about how I had eventually grown more comfortable with talking about my hearing loss early on when meeting new people at the pub or at parties.
Quite a few people got in touch asking “what do you say?”
So, let’s talk about your hearing loss elevator speech…
In business an elevator speech is a very concise presentation of your service or product that you could pitch to your dream client (or Richard Branson!) if you met them in a lift/elevator. The idea is that you have this speech down pat and can instantly trot it out if the opportunity arises.
A hearing loss elevator speech is pretty much the same. It’s a few sentences that you have rehearsed to perfection that explain your hearing loss to a stranger.
What you say in your elevator speech is up to you and depends on what you’re comfortable saying. For example, some people don’t like to use the term “hearing impaired”. Others use the word “deaf” as a short cut. Some of us use humour as an ice-breaker.
Here’s my elevator speech:
"Hi, I’m Lisa. Nice to meet you. Just to mention, I don’t hear well, so don’t be surprised if I mishear you or even don’t hear you at all. Feel free to correct me, or give me a nudge if I’m ignoring you. I won’t mind in the slightest."
So, where do you start? To give you some ideas I asked members of the Facebook group UK Hearing Loss Community what their elevator speeches sound like. Here are some of the responses:
“Goodness, isn't it noisy in here, I'm really going to struggle with my hearing loss, could you face me, and would you let me know what the conversation is about, thank you so much”
“I'm Deaf, please face me when you speak.”
“I'm deaf so if I don't reply to you I'm probably not being rude”
“I’m deaf. I can’t hear you. Please look at me and say it again slowly”
And, if you happen to be a psychic you can use this:
“Hi, I'm a psychic medium and severely deaf, don't worry I can hear you but if the dead have something more interesting to say I might drift off…😊”
Your challenge this week is to create your own elevator speech and build up your confidence saying it so that it’s well-rehearsed for the next social event.
Let me know how you go in the comments below: