- Increase the light if it’s too dark. As romantic as conversations in the dark are, it may not be the best for your communication. Turn on the lights and you’ll often have an easier time talking to each other.
- Move away from glaring sources of light. So as with the brightly-lit window scenario, it may be best not to stand right by that window. It can be tiring for all talkers involved and harsh shadows on the face just don’t look endearing.
- Put your back to the window. If it’s not too bright, then the window can provide just the right amount of light. However, you will likely want your back to the window so that the light falls on the face of those you’re speaking to.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
- Pick your restaurants carefully. Restaurants with a lot of ambience tend to be bad. Ambience in restaurants usually come in the form of low-lighting, background music, and hard, funky surfaces. The best restaurant from an acoustic standpoint is one with upholstered furniture, no background music, good lighting, and low ceilings.
- Go early for dinner. You can miss the bulk of the noisy dinner crowd and you usually have your choice of any seat in the house. So pick the potentially quietest corner or table in the restaurant.
- Choose your table wisely. If you can choose a table, pick one that’s in the corner. Two walls mean a little less noise. However, make sure you’re not right by the kitchen; otherwise, you’ll hear all the cutlery and chopping emitting from there. If there are booths available, they are often better for communication. The enclosure of your table can reduce the amount of noise that you hear.
- If you do get to choose a seat at your table, pick according to where the noise is. If you have hearing aids, you should set the aids to the noise mode and sit with your back to the restaurant while facing the wall. The wall doesn’t make as much noise as your fellow diners, so it’s better to be facing it. If you don’t have hearing aids, then sit beside the wall so that at least you can hear some of the conversation from one ear.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It doesn’t take too much to make a conversation easier to hear. Just reduce the background noise. I’m not asking you to stop the world from turning and getting all the noise out of the world, but you can do some simple things to reduce background noise.
- Turn down or off any unnecessary music or sound. That could be your own TV or the radio. You may have to ask the owner of the device to turn it down. A conversation is lot easier without music covering over all the words
- Close the windows. If the windows are open and you get all the traffic noise, shut the sound out by closing the windows. It’s a tough call during a hot summer day, but less noise makes a huge difference
- Move away from the noise. If you can’t control the sound, at least move away from it. Just stepping a few feet away, or even out of a room, from the noise, it will be a relief to your ears and your conversation partner.
There’s no one end-all answer to reducing background noise. Use your best judgment and reduce any background noise that you can reduce.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
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