What is oral communication and examples? | 2021

It is the interchange of thoughts and opinions in spoken words between a sender and a receiver. It is way more quick, effective, and, most of the time, informal than written communication. It is also known as verbal communication.

As we all grow, we know that in the early days of our lives, we start to speak single words, and as the time progresses, these single words start to become multiple, and then they start to gain meaning within themselves and then a few years later we become able to put those words in a piece of paper through proper writing. This shows that for a person to write well, it is a must thing for him to be orally well too. Thus, we can say that it precedes written communication.

According to an international survey, humans interact orally way more than in written form. It says that we listen 45%, speak 30%, read 16%, and write for almost 9% in our entire life. Therefore, we need to improve our verbal communication skills so that we can create and sustain good relationships and can convey our feelings and opinions with much more depth and effectiveness.

also read : Poor Communication Skills

Why is oral communication important?

In business, a person cannot achieve anything if he doesn’t know how to communicate well with his coworkers. This is because, in business, everybody has the same ultimate goal, and in order to achieve that goal, they have to work together and have to sort things out in case if any problem comes out. Thus, in businesses, it is not enough that you only know how to listen and speak but also know how to convince and persuade the other person with your words. But in order to do that, you need to master your skills in this particular way of communication.

We often see that company managers and other higher-ups fail to solve their employee’s problems and fail to influence others through their dialogue and discussions. So, the need for improvement becomes highly important so that they could easily:

  • Solve other’s as well as their own problems.
  • End different kinds of conflicts within the company.
  • Influence their employees to work together.
  • Be less aggressive while being assertive.
  • Negotiate effectively
  • Make better proposals

In social life, we have seen countless people who are lonely and have no friends and are afraid to share their feelings and thoughts with others. This is all because of their poor oral communication skills. These people achieve way less than an average person does, both in their professional as well as social life. So, it can be easily said that one has to know how to speak, how not to speak, when to speak, when not to speak, how to listen to the others, and how to pay full attention to the other for what they are doing (i.e., their attitude, physical gestures, facial expressions, etc.) while communicating so that one may know how to socialize better in the society. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter what you say to the other; what matters is that how you say it and what sort of words, sincerity, and confidence you choose in order to convey your message to others.

oral communication

What are the characteristics of oral communication?

For this type of communication to be successful, it must have the following characteristics:

  1. Pre-planned

Sometimes we get stuck while addressing a huge gathering or doing some kind of a presentation and don’t quite know what to say next. This may be due to reasons such as less focus, short memory, or incapability of a person to face a huge group of people. This could lead to huge humiliation, embarrassment, and sometimes your career’s downfall. Thus, it becomes very important for us to pre-plan for what we have to say in our presentations or addresses. We should practice our tone, body language and try to memorize the points on which our speech/presentation would be based on. In the end, pre-planning always turns out to be very fruitful.

  1. Conciseness

Here, we have to be more concise and clearer. By this we mean, we should avoid unnecessary word repetition, try to be brief and less wordy. Fewer words don’t mean less sense. We should be able to convey our message without sacrificing the essential meaning to the context, thus achieving intensity and concentration. The information that we are trying to transfer to the other person should have maximum logic and concreteness, and it should have relevant data according to the subject.

  1. Patience

It is very important that you show patience whilst talking to another person. Let the other finish for what he has to say, and when he finishes, then talk. The interruption causes serious damage to communication. It changes its direction, and because of this, the whole purpose of it gets lost. You also don’t quite get how the other person feels the way he does, and thus, in the end, you are not able to respond to them the way you should.

  1. Time and money-saving

You can save a lot of your time, effort, and money by doing verbal communication. One doesn’t have to type what he has to say or reply to someone while doing oral communication, thus saving a lot of his time and effort. Also, he doesn’t have to buy and then maintain a pen, paper, or a typewriter for his communication, thus saving a huge amount of money.

  1. Immediate feedback

One of the greatest benefits of it is that in it, we get immediate feedback. In the case of written communication, we are not quite sure how our audience will think or feel after they read our text, but here, we see people reacting almost within no time, thus giving us a hint that how will they react or absorb what we have to say. So, in verbal communication, we get our feedback right on the spot, thus making things clear and avoiding confusion.

  1. Persuasive Communication

Another one of the characteristics of it is that it is way more persuasive than the other types of communication. One may easily persuade the other through his or her speech, given the fact that they are willing to consider his/her argument. In persuasive communication, one basically does is that he tries to convince his listener to believe in a certain point of view. He arranges his debate in such a way that more or less makes his audience accept a part of what he is saying or, better, his whole perspective. Thus, persuasive communication is way easier in oral communication as compared to written communication.

  1. Better understanding

In verbal communication, one can understand way better than in written communication. In case if any misapprehension or confusion comes in, one can always ask one question or many questions in order to solve those confusions. Thus, for effective communication, verbal communication is the best way to do it.

  1. Flexibility

     In this type of communication, one always has the advantage of changing what he or she is trying to say. This changing or “flexibility” could be intentional or unintentional, keeping the situation in mind. However, in the written form of communication, once the sender has written what he had to say, he can’t change anything. Once it is written and delivered, he has absolutely no control over it.

  1. Clear oral expression

One can avoid making a lot of confusion if he tries to clear his throat before he speaks and try to pronounce words the way they should be pronounced. The language that the sender will choose should be understandable by the receiver, and it should be easy.

What are the three elements of oral communication?

There are eight elements of communication (i.e., message, sender, receiver, encoding, channel, decoding, acting, and feedback) out of which three (i.e., message, sender, and receiver) are the most important ones in order to understand the process of communication. These are:

  1. Sender

    This is the person who transmits the information or message to another person (receiver). He aims to change the way the receiver thinks, his attitude, and his own personal opinion towards a particular subject. He is the one who decides the symbols, channel, and the time in which he transmits his message to the receiver keeping in mind the situation in which that communication is taking place.

  1. Message

It is the information that is transmitted from the sender and the receiver. Here the sender and the receiver could be two individuals or a group of people, or even two electronic devices such as mobile phones.

  1. Receiver

The receiver is the person who gets the message which is delivered by the sender. He listens to it, or in case of written communication, reads it, understands it, interprets it, and then tries to perceive its net meaning.

  1. Others

Others include (encoding, channel, decoding, acting, and feedback). These “others” sometimes get very important for communication to occur. These are briefly described below:

  • Encoding

Encoding is the changing of a message from a person’s mind into symbols such as words, signs, or gestures (either written or verbal). It is a fact and ideas put into words and symbols that the receiver would be able to understand.

  • Channel

The channel is the medium through which the sender sends his message. The medium can be a dialogue, a face-to-face interview, a telephone conversation, reports, letters, memos, notices, circulars, questionnaires, and so on. They can also be hoardings, posters, slides, documentary films, television programs, and advertisements.

  • Decoding

Decoding is the act of translating those encoded symbols, signs, and gestures into their ordinary meanings. Its entire meaning consists of the sum of the meanings of the words, the attitude of the sender, his choice of words, and the tone that he uses in his message.

  • Acting

Communication makes the receiver to act in a way that the sender wants him to react in. His act shows that he has understood what the sender was trying to tell him. After being able to understand, he gives his response, which in this case is called the feedback.

  • Feedback

Communication doesn’t get accomplished until or unless the receiver gives his or her feedback. Feedback plays a very vital role in communication as it helps the communicators to clear off any misunderstanding or misapprehension and ensures that the receiver has understood the message the way the sender wants him to.

What are the six types of oral communication?

It consists of the following six types:

  1. Elevator pitch

      Elevator pitch is one giving a very brief introduction about himself (i.e., who he is, what are his skills, what are his qualifications, and what do you want from the other person). The reason why it is called an elevator pitch is that it is so short that one can finish it while having an elevator ride.

  1. Formal communication

     Formal communication is mostly used in businesses where you work with your coworkers, clients, stakeholders, and customers. It is basically crisp, short, and to the point. In businesses, people don’t have that much time to talk to each other; therefore, they prefer formal communication over informal communication.

  1. Informal communication:

    Informal communication is basically friendly communication where you have no particular aim to accomplish. In informal communication, one can talk about the weather condition, how his day was, or his plans over the weekend. There is no particular conventional rule here to follow by the sender.

  1. Business presentations:

    One can use his oral communication skills to the best if he knows how to command and deliver a presentation in a room full of people. You can show your CEOs and managers that how hard you have been working for the past couple of weeks. In business presentations, one needs to consider four things:

  1. The pitch of his voice.
  2. The projection that he is using to clear his points to the audience.
  3. The pace at which he is talking.
  4. The number of pauses that he is using.

One must have to work on these four points to deliver a presentation, the best way he or she can.

  1. Speeches:

     Sometimes in order to solve huge community issues, you need to outreach them, and to do so, you deliver speeches. The difference between a speech and a presentation is that in a speech, you talk to a particular community using no aid whatsoever, and in a presentation, you talk and also use illustrative material such as visual aid.

  1. Classroom lectures:

We have seen that in classrooms, teachers tend to teach their students through their sounds and their languages. These teachers may address one student or the entire class at a time. They try to clear different points regarding what their subject is and sometimes tend to ask about it to their students in order to clear points in their minds and ensure that they are paying their full attention to that lecture.

What are the disadvantages and advantages of oral communication?

It has its advantages as well as disadvantages. These advantages and disadvantages are stated below:

Its advantages:

  • Time and money-saving:

One could save a lot of time and money by using it instead of written communication. One doesn’t need to type words in order to convey his or her message, nor does he or she have to buy a typewriter, pen, or paper to tell the other what he or she wants to say.

  • Flexibility:

     In this particular type of communication, one always has the advantage of changing what he or she is trying to say. This changing or “flexibility” could be intentional or unintentional, keeping the situation in mind. However, in the written form of communication, once the sender has written what he had to say, he can’t change anything. Once it is written and delivered, he has absolutely no control over i.

  • Immediate feedback:

One of the greatest benefits of oral communication is that in it, we get immediate feedback. In the case of written communication, we are not quite sure how our audience will think or feel after they read our text, but here, we see people reacting almost within no time, thus giving us a hint that how will they react or absorb what we have to say. So, in verbal communication, we get our feedback right on the spot, thus making things clear and avoiding confusion.

  • Informal communication:

     Verbal communication is, most of the time, informal. This means that it has the ability to move in any sort of direction without following any kind of rule. One can talk about almost any topic, which would be of no aim or propaganda. He could talk about the weather condition, how his day went, or what are his plans over the weekend. This kind of communication creates a friendly relation between the sender and the receiver and is way quicker than written communication.

  1. Maintaining secrecy:

      As the sender is conscious about his surroundings and is positive that there is no one else in the room except for the receiver to whom he wants to convey his secret, thus there is a greater chance of maintaining the secret, keeping in mind that the receiver won’t reveal the sender’s secret.

  • Easiness:

     It is way easier as compared to the written form of communication because, in it, one doesn’t need to find a pen, pencil, paper, or any typewriter in order to convey his feelings to the other. Compared to written communication, it requires a very less amount of preparation in order to send a message to the receiver.

  • Motivation:

In businesses, sometimes higher-ups sit with their employees and try to talk with them face-to-face, many a time leading towards the motivation of those employees and thus the success of their organization or company. These kinds of the communication system are not possible in written communication because written communication is way more formal and to the point. Thus no point could lead the CEO or the manager of a company to the point where he starts to motivate his employees.

  • Better understanding:

In verbal communication, one can understand way better than in written communication. In case if any misapprehension or confusion comes in, one can always ask a question or questions in order to solve those confusions. Thus, for effective communication, this particular communication is the best way to do it.

Its disadvantages:

  • No record:

      One cannot record one’s entire life’s dialogue (i.e., from the day he borns till the day he dies); thus, oral communication, as compared to the written form of communication, is very less recorded and is very difficult to record too. This is because it takes way more file size as compared to the size of the written document or a text in our mobile devices or on our computers. Therefore, our history is filled with recorded papers, not recorded audios.

  • Emotion:

    Feelings and emotions matter a lot when you are trying to communicate orally with the other person. These emotions take the understanding between you and the person with whom you are talking to another level. In it, one can easily consider other people’s feelings, consider his own feelings, have empathy, and would more likely to operate on trust.

  • No legal validity:

     It is entirely invalid for legal purposes. They are not kept in records by the police so that they can be used as evidence against the speaker, thus allowing the speaker to deny that audio if the situation goes against him.

  • Unnecessary importance to the presentation:

    Presentation for a speech is very important, but sometimes people waste a lot of their time and effort on these presentations instead of focusing on the points that will have to be delivered in their presentation.

  • Confused speech:

Suppose a person has some sort of physical disability like Apraxia of speech (AOS), stuttering or stammering, dysarthria, lisping, cluttering, etc. Then it would become extremely difficult for the listener to understand what he is trying to say. Also, if the listener is mute, then communicating orally with that person is of no use.

  • Leakage of a secret:

Often this happens to us that we sometimes unintentionally leak out things that are to remain classified, things that should not be out there. These leaked secrets, later on, causes a lot of problems for us and demolishes the trust of people in us.

  • Misunderstanding:

     While doing oral communication, one can’t keep everything that he is told inside his mind. This may be because of the receiver’s incapability to pay attention to what he was being told by the sender. Thus, in verbal communication, one requires a great amount of receptivity on the receiver’s end. Also, sometimes misunderstanding could be caused because of the inattentiveness of the sender, that he or she might not organize the points that they, later on, be telling to other people. This also can cause a huge amount of misunderstanding.

  • Expensive (in case of distant communication):

      In the case of distant communication, it becomes extremely expensive because for it to happen, you will need a mobile device. These devices are very expensive if you look at today’s market. So, communicators will need a lot of money in order to communicate with each other.

  • Distortion of meaning:

    As told in the above that no one keeps a record of audios with him as a piece of evidence; therefore, it becomes very easy for the speaker to distort his meaning of words if the situation goes against him.

What matters most in oral communication?

When we say verbal communication, we don’t only mean the thoughts that are put into words, which later comes out of our mouths, but also the non-verbal figures (i.e., facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, etc.); therefore, when we try to convey our feelings and our opinions, it is a must thing for us that we should know how to deliver our message to the others because sometimes our body language and our oral statement completely differ from each other. We may respond “yes” to something, but our body language suggests otherwise, which completely reveals our state of “Not being true towards the other.” Therefore, in order to avoid such a dilemma, one has to do in such a way that his verbal, as well as non-verbal activities, completely synchronize with each other, and there is no sort of contradiction within them.

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