What is Oral Communication? Advantages, Disadvantages, Imp

  • Post last modified:3 July 2021
  • Reading time:12 mins read

What is Oral Communication?

Oral communication is transfer of information from sender to receiver by means of verbal and visual aid. Examples of oral communication include presentations, speeches, discussions, etc.

Though the message is conveyed through words, most of the times oral communication is effectively carried out with the help of non-verbal communication like body language and tone modulations. Oral communication is also at times mixed with visual aid to help establish the conveyed message in a clear manner.

Oral Communication
Oral Communication

Oral Communication Examples include usage of presentations in a seminar or meeting to put across the message in a clear manner. Oral communication can also be mixed with written communication methods to ensure that maximum effectiveness is achieved.


Oral Communication Definition

Oral communication takes place in face-to-face conversations, group discussions, telephone calls and other circumstances in which spoken word is used to express meaning.

Ricky W. Griffin

Oral communication takes place when spoken words are used to transfer information and understanding form on person to another.

S. K. Kapur

Modes of Oral Communication

Research studies have shown that 80% of communication by executives of a company is in the oral form. The modes of Oral Communication include:

• Telephone/Cellular phone
• Messages
• Intercom
• Face-to-face discussion
• Meetings/Conferences
• Presentation
• Dictaphone/Dictation
• Conversation
• Radio
• Teleconferencing
• Speeches
• Brainstorming sessions
• Grapevine
• Interview


Advantages of Oral Communication

Advantages of oral communication are mentioned below:

  1. Immediate Feedback
  2. Time Saving
  3. Economical
  4. Personal Touch
  5. Flexibility
  6. Secrecy
  7. Group Communication
  8. Effectiveness
  9. Persuasive power
Advantages of Oral Communication
Advantages of Oral Communication

Immediate Feedback

The biggest advantage of oral communication is that it provides immediate feedback to both the sender and the receiver. Each can therefore ask for clarification and elaboration on the spot.

The speaker can immediately understand the reaction of the audience or group, s/he is addressing while the hearers get a number of clues about how their behaviour is being perceived by the speaker.

Time Saving

Oral communication is very fast. It saves the time involved in writing the message and delivering it through a channel like the postal or courier services.

Economical

Oral communication saves the money spent on stationery and the channel of communication.

Personal Touch

Oral communication builds up a healthy climate in the organization by bringing superiors and subordinates closer. It is also an effective tool for persuasion.

Flexibility

Oral communication provides an opportunity to the speaker to correct himself and make himself clear by changing his voice, pitch, tone, etc. A number of other factors like context, body language, etc. can be used to reinforce and modify what is spoken through the words.

Secrecy

Oral messages can be more easily kept confidential than written messages. All one has to do is to ensure that there is no one within the hearing or recording distance.

Group Communication

Oral communication is extremely useful for communicating with groups in meetings, conferences, etc. No classroom teaching would be possible without oral communication.

Effectiveness

Because oral communication involves the real or virtual presence of both the parties, therefore, the message transfer is more effective and that helps in achieving the goal of the communication more efficiently.

Persuasive power

Persuasion is the process of guiding people toward the adoption of an idea, attitude or action by rational means. It relies on “appeals” and convincing arguments. We live in a world where persuasive oral messages are around us.


Disadvantages of Oral Communication

Disadvantages of oral communication are explained below:

  1. Poor Retention
  2. No Record
  3. Time Consuming
  4. Misunderstanding
  5. Lengthy Messages
  6. Lack of Responsibility
  7. Imprecise
Disadvantages of Oral Communication
Disadvantages of Oral Communication

Poor Retention

The listener cannot retain oral messages in his memory for a long time. The speaker himself may not recall what he actually said.

No Record

Oral communication does not provide any record for future reference. In the absence of a record, oral messages have no legal validity.

Time Consuming

Oral communication may not always be time saving. Precisely because there is no binding medium like a page or a book, this form of communication is virtually endless. Sometimes meetings continue for a long time without arriving at any satisfactory conclusion.

Misunderstanding

Oral communications are likely to be misunderstood due to poor expression and noise. The speaker may not be able to make himself quite clear or the listener may be inattentive. This is likely to be truer when the two individuals are not on good terms with each other.

Lengthy Messages

Oral communication is not suitable for transmitting lengthy messages. Some parts of vital importance may not receive adequate attention.

Lack of Responsibility

Oral messages are not recorded. Therefore, it becomes difficult to hold persons responsible for mistakes, inaccuracy or falsity in oral communication.

Imprecise

People usually take less care when speaking than when writing. Therefore, spoken words tend to be less precise than written words. Often the exact point the speaker is trying to make is lost in a mass of words.


How to Make Oral Communication Effective?

The following steps should be taken to make oral communication effective:

  1. Clarity
  2. Brevity
  3. Precision
  4. Right words
  5. Avoid Hackneyed Phrases
  6. Understand the Listener
  7. Natural Voice
  8. Logical Sequence
  9. Conviction
How to Make Oral Communication Effective
How to Make Oral Communication Effective

Clarity

The speaker should pronounce his words “clearly” and “correctly”. He must talk distinctly and slowly. When a person speaks fast or munches words the oral message is likely to be misunderstood.

The way a person speaks his dialogue exercises much influence on the audience. Clarity of expression is the aim at all times.

Brevity

Oral communications often suffer from too much of talking. When a speaker keeps on talking for long, his message is lost in a sea of words and his listeners tend to become inattentive.

Therefore, the message must be kept as short as possible. However, the speaker should not appear unclear, abrupt or discourteous.

Precision

An oral message becomes more effective when it is precise and concise.

Example: It is better to say ‘cut down costs by 100 instead of saying ‘reduce costs’. The message should not be vague or incomplete. Words ought to mean clearly what they are intended to say.

Right words

The first caution is to ensure that you know the meaning of the words that you use. Some words have more than one meaning while some others carry different meanings for different persons. Be sure about what your words will convey to a trained reader.

Example: City, town and metropolis are three different words and care should be exercised before using them. You will find that the word ‘metro’ has at least three different meanings in day-to-day usage. Find them out for yourself.

Therefore, words should be chosen carefully and their meaning clarified in the context of usage. The speaker should not presume that the listener would mean the same thing from a word, which s/he means.

Avoid Hackneyed Phrases

Speakers often use hackneyed phrases and clichés like ‘you know’, ‘I see’, ‘you see’, ‘what I mean’, ‘isn’t,’ etc.

Such phrases interrupt the flow of speech and obstruct the quick grasp of meaning besides causing boredom. Speakers should ensure that they do not use these phrases unconsciously or consciously.

Most of us use them as connectives, filling up a gap when we do not have the correct word/phrase. Keeping them consciously out of your usage would mean that you will have to remain silent for those gaps. But don’t worry. Once you stop using fillers like those, appropriate words will come to you with a little effort at articulation.

Understand the Listener

A good speaker must understand the listener before talking. People vary in terms of their education, culture, intelligence level, maturity, etc.

Natural Voice

The speaker should use his natural way of speaking. In order to look sophisticated, some speakers use a foreign accent. This reduces the effectiveness of communication.

Logical Sequence

Before speaking, different ideas to be conveyed should be arranged in a logical order. It helps to make the speech forceful.

Conviction

A speaker must have conviction in what he says. Careful understanding, the sincerity of speech, and intelligent planning are required to develop conviction in speech.


Importance of Oral Communication

The importance of oral communication can be discussed in the following points:

  1. Importance for a scholar
  2. Importance for a professional
  3. Importance for business
  4. As a marketing tool
Importance of Oral Communication
Importance of Oral Communication

Importance for a scholar

The art of oral presentation is of immense significance for an academician or a student who is needed to defend his/her thesis in a seminar or a conference.

Importance for a professional

At times, managers or executives in a company are required to prepare a report and then give an oral presentation on that report. Their performance can make or mar their career.

Importance for business

Oral communication are of huge significance in today’s business environment. It’s simply because nothing has more impact, or is quite as impressive, as a well-delivered oral presentation.

Properly executed and in the right context, they can inform, motivate and convince more effectively than any other single form of communication. As a result, employers place great value on presentation skills.

As a marketing tool

Ability to deliver oral presentation is one of the most effective tools of marketing. For instance, consider these two typical situations where oral presentation skill will be needed as a marketing strategy:


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What is Oral Communication | Oral Communication Definition |
Modes of Oral Communication | Advantages of Oral Communication | Disadvantages of Oral Communication | How to Make Oral Communication Effective | Importance of Oral Communication | Principles of Oral Communication |


Principles of Oral Communication

The following are the main principles of oral communication:

  1. Clarity
  2. Simplicity
  3. Source of information
  4. Adequacy
  5. Consistency
  6. Principle of time
  7. Balance between uniformly and adaptability
  8. Emotional Appeal
  9. Consultation
  10. Feedback
  11. Purpose
  12. Empathy
  13. Rehearsal
  14. Selection of main idea
  15. Introduction
  16. Easiness
  17. Researching the topic
  18. Summary

Clarity

In oral communication the meaning of the words and the language should be clear so that the audience does not misunderstand it. One should avoid the use of technical, very difficult or literary words.

Simplicity

The communication should be simple so that every type of audience finds it easy to understand.

Source of information

The sources of information used in the communication should be reliable and the audience should be informed about the source to increase their confidence.

Adequacy

The quantity, weightage, expansion and the subject matter should be decided in a wise manner, communication that are lengthy, too detailed and difficult are boring. Over abundance of information puts strain on the mental ability. Thinking and working of the audience.

Consistency

The figures and information used in the communication should not be in conflict with the policies, objectives and programmes of the institutions.

Principle of time

The communication should not take more time that intended. Principle of time leaves a good impression on the audience.

Balance between uniformly and adaptability

On the one hand uniformity of message in the communication should be attempted and on the other due importance should be given to the changer in today’s fast business. In other words one should try to strike a balance between uniformity and changeability or adaptability of words. h. Principle of Audience Analysis

To develop a mutual understanding with the audience and to remove the unnecessary difficulty of meanings the presenter should keep in mind the age, education, ability, knowledge and organizational position of the audience.

Emotional Appeal

In some communication there is a lack of logic and intellect therefore there should be an emotional appeal in the communication so that a positive response can be taken from the audience.

Consultation

To make a communication effective the communicator should consult all the related people. This way one can get some new advice and ideas.

Feedback

After communication the communicator should try to find the views, Ideas, opinions, objections and feelings of the audience. This develops an understanding between the two and the objective of communication is also fulfilled.

Purpose

In the communicator mind the purpose of the communication should be absolutely clear and defined. Objectives could be one or more. The purpose of the communication could be to inform, encourage, sympathies and entertain.

Empathy

The communicator should put himself in the place of audience while doing the communication. This brings about a similar opinion and creator mutual understanding.

Rehearsal

Before communication one should rehearsal atleast thrice. This increases self confidence and makes the communication easier.

Selection of main idea

The main idea or should be decided before hand. This makes the communication easier and interesting.

Introduction

It is said that first impression is the best impression. Thus, the communicator should introduce the communication with expertise, patience, cleverness and effectively that the audience can connect to it right till the end.

Easiness

A friendly behaviour should be used with the audience. As a result he can say opinion with ease and the audience too will accept it.

Researching the topic

Information, figures and other facts related to the communication should be collected so that some new ideas can be joined with the basic thought that is change should be acceptable.

Summary

At the end of the communication the main points should be revised which make the audience will remember the basic thought of the communication


Business Communication Notes

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Reference

  1. Business Communication: “ K.K. Sinha, Golgotia Publishing Company
  2. Business Communication: “M.K. Sehgal, Vandana Khetrapal, Excel Books
  3. Essentials of Business Communication: Rajendra Pal, J.S Korlahalli, Sultan Chand & Sons

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FAQ

What is Oral Communication?

In oral communication, spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet.

Read Complete Article: Oral Communication

What is Business Communication?

Business communication is the expression, channelling, receiving and interchanging of ideas in commerce and industry.

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