Top Tip: Effective Communication Techniques while Wearing a Mask

Wearing a mask has made verbal and non-verbal communication more challenging, and physical distancing has become the new normal. This has, without a doubt, made identifying a guest’s mood more challenging – are they satisfied? Delighted? Frustrated? Without the visual cues to rely on, we often find ourselves scratching our heads at what should’ve been a great touchpoint between guest and guest services. So, how can we maintain effective communication and continue to create positive experiences for our guests? We’ve put together some tips.

Body Language

We can communicate a lot by making very small adjustments in our body language. Here are a few tips:

  • Use hand gestures, posture, and eye contact to look welcoming and positive
  • Be attentive by turning your body towards the individual, either leaning in at a safe distance, or by nodding and acknowledging their presence
  • Straighten your shoulders and try not to cross your arms
  • Nod when appropriate to acknowledge you are listening and understanding
  • Make connections through eye contact. (Happiness can be seen by raised eyebrows, raised cheeks and crow’s feet)
  • Use hand gestures (a friendly wave or hand to chest) to show appreciation or thanks


Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can’t speak with your guest or customer. Don’t be afraid to strike up a brief conversation, or to ask questions! Don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips:

  • Ask questions! A lot of customers might be embarrassed to tell you that they didn’t understand. Take the lead and ask if you’ve addressed their needs, or if there’s anything else you could help them with
  • Provide information proactively
  • Speak slowly and clearly to keep people engaged. Allow your listener to hear every word you say. This will show that you want to be there talking to them
  • Safely remove any physical barriers that could block your view or further challenge your voice being heard from behind the mask or from a distance

Tone of Voice

It’s not just what you say but how you say it. Your tone of voice, including speed, tempo and pitch are all equally important and impactful as the words you’re saying.

  • Use your tone of voice to express enthusiasm
  • Use a higher pitch and softer voice for a friendly tone
  • Articulate every syllable of each word so your listener can understand you
  • Be mindful on how loud you speak! You don’t want to come across as being rude or aggressive