Speaking on the phone

There are lots of ways to make it easier to use your home phone – from simple tips to helpful phone accessories.

General tips

  • Always speak clearly into the mouthpiece.
  • If the person you’re speaking to takes a long time to say things, be patient and don't interrupt.
  • Hold the mouthpiece below your bottom lip and against your chin – try not to move the mouthpiece of the phone under your chin, as this can make it more difficult for the other person to hear.
  • Don't shout if the person you’re talking to can’t hear you properly. Try speaking a little slower than normal, without stressing or exaggerating words.
  • If your voice, or the caller's voice, is difficult to hear, adjust the volume control on your phone to a level that's comfortable for you.
  • If it’s difficult to understand the speech of the person you’re talking to, concentrate on what they’re saying, not how they’re saying it.
  • If you can't understand what the person on the other end of the phone is saying, ask them to repeat it. Never pretend you’ve understood when you haven't!
  • If the person you’re speaking to has a speech impairment (such as a stammer), don't finish their words for them or guess the end of the sentence.
  • Keep questions simple and ask closed questions whenever possible (so the person only has to say yes or no).
  • If you want to keep your hands free, use your phone's loudspeaker if it has one, or use a headset and microphone.
  • If repeating what you’ve said doesn't work, try saying the same thing in a different way.
  • If you want to move around while on the phone, use the speakerphone, or choose a cordless phone. Find out more about our cordless phones.
  • If you have trouble speaking, you can use the Next Generation Text (NGT) app, which lets you type what you want to say, and then listen to your caller’s reply on the phone. Find out more about NGT.
  • If you stammer or have a speech impairment, read the British Stammering Association guide to using the phone.

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