Supporting spoken communication

Communication and Health Literacy

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Face-to-face spoken communication is a highly effective communication method. But how many times have you walked away from an appointment or meeting and realised you've forgotten the main points?

Supplementing your spoken communication with visual tools can be useful. For example:

  1. Use brochures and booklets, but rather than just handing them over to the consumer, draw attention to the most important bits of information and personalise the resources. Highlight key points (for example, circle the content) and write additional information on the brochure.
  2. Add simple drawings to illustrate your points.
  3. Write your key points down. This will help the person remember and communicate the information to others, like family members.
  4. Offer the consumer pen and paper so they can take their own notes.
  5. Use models or props to demonstrate your messages.
  6. Always confirm the person's understanding of your main points using open-ended questions, not questions that can be answered with a 'yes' or 'no'.
  7. Provide DVDs and/or web addresses for further information.

Here is an example of a visual tool created by Oral Health Services. Lift the lip Poster

Updated December 2018