Obstacles to communication can arise because audiences can be quite diverse, with anything from hearing or vision impairment to different learning styles having a potential impact—a fact you need to be aware of anytime you’re presenting information to others. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these obstacles, and many of the most helpful techniques, such as facing your audience as you speak, can benefit all audience members.

Universal design is intended to address the many differences we can encounter in communicating. Below are some tips to help you consider how to design your communication for more universal impact.


During conversation, there are a few things to keep in mind:


In unfamiliar settings, be prepared to interact with a broad variety of special needs. Following are a few general guidelines to ensure you include all audience members.


Davis, Barbara Gross. Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.