I need some urgent help. I’m going on a retreat for work, and everyone has to give a 5-minute presentation on a topic of their choice. I’m choosing to do mine on my hearing loss. I haven’t been upfront about it as much as I’d like to, and it’s caused me a bit of stress. Presenting about it would put it out there in the open and alleviate that stress for me, as well as make everyone more aware of it.
The problem is, I don’t know exactly how to present it. I don’t want to come across as trying to seek “pity” or emotionally heavy. I want it to be inspiring and informative.
My hearing loss just isn’t that interesting, I’m afraid. The facts:
- Mild-to-moderate sensorineural
- Diagnosed when I was 6, I have no memory of “normal” hearing. The cause is a mystery
- Wore analog BTEs, with ear molds for most of my life.
- Got digitals, open fit, when in 2008. Still deciding if I like them.
- Adjustments I make: close captions for TV (although I can make it without them, having them on means I don’t have to work as hard to understand the TV), needing to see people face-to-face to understand what they’re saying, sometimes miss words (it’s touch and go, depending on my mood and the nature of the situation), having trouble understanding people in large auditoriums without microphones, not able to hear tiny detail sounds without my hearing aids (rain, fans, leaves, typing, etc).
- I struggled with self-inflicted insecurity about my hearing aids and hearing loss beginning around 8th grade and lasting until 12th grade. In the process of undoing the damage. The only issue I have now is being upfront with people about my hearing loss. I never know when to tell someone, or if I should, because my loss is so mild that many people may not even know I have it. I don’t want them to feel like they have to speak louder, or feel sorry for me, etc.
Aside from those adjustments, my life is pretty normal. If you were going to give a 5-minute talk about hearing loss, which areas would you focus on? I don’t have anything interesting angles, so that’s why I’m struggling with this so much. Thanks for any insights!