- Yamilette Cano
Speaking Behind the Mask
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
In response to COVID-19 wearing a mask in public is becoming a new normal. Although it's the new normal, it is still in a stage of abnormal. People have yet to adjust their social cues and body language when communicating through the mask.
Here we are going to provide you with some helpful tips to confidently communicate vocally and physically through your mask.
It's time to put on the mask and practice our new communication superpower.
Communication with MOTION, EMOTION, & IMPACT while wearing a mask.
Think of your mask like a superhero would: allow it to give you confidence so that you speak confidently. Having a barrier between your vocals and your listeners will muffle your voice, so it is important to speak with certainty and power.
Clarity Challenges Associated with Wearing a Mask:
Voice may sound quieter
Pronunciation may be muffled
There are no visual cues from your lips
Strong Voice: Use your whole voice, breathe with your diaphragm and project your voice.
Enunciate: Now is the time to exaggerate your diction.
Deliberate Pace: Be in charge of your delivery, don’t let your mouth run away with you!
Technology has been a blessing and a curse when it comes to communication. We have all had that moment when we read a text or email and the lack of context and punctuation sends a completely alternative message than what we originally meant. Communicating through a mask can be a lot like virtual conversations, there is physically something disconnecting you. Your mouth is the best reinforcement for someone judging the tone of a conversation. When our mouths are covered we must compensate by using other physical cues to express ourselves and our message in the right way.
Body Language with Intention: Helps to Reinforce Your Message
Connect your words with your body movements
Use your hands and head to show intention
Provide a safe spacing for a more comfortable conversation
Body Language is POWER.
Covering our beautiful smiles makes it harder to gauge the emotion and impact of a conversation. Our eyes are the next best thing to create a genuine connection. Have you ever taken a picture and the photographer says “think of something positive and you will smile with your eyes”? This is because our eyes portray direct emotion of what we are feeling. When we are in a state of stress or fear we will project these emotions, however, if we are in a state of pure joy and euphoria our eyes will shine to the world and share the emotion with others.
LOUDER’S 4 Step Approach to Mastering Your “Smize”
Eye Contact: Pick a focal point.
Laugh a Little: Laughing loosens up your whole body, makes you happy, and will make your “smize” more genuine.
Smile: A true genuine smile doesn't stop at the mouth, it also causes your eyes to crinkle up.
Think Positive Thoughts: A genuine “smize” comes from genuine happiness.