Oral Communication : Definition, Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

by Anup Maurya
Oral Communication : Definition, Types ,Advantages and Disadvantages

Oral communication implies communication through mouth. It includes individuals conversing with each other, be it direct conversation or telephonic conversation. Speeches, presentations, discussions are all forms of oral communication. Oral communication is generally recommended when the communication matter is of temporary kind or where a direct interaction is required. Face to face communication (meetings, lectures, conferences, interviews, etc.) is significant so as to build a rapport and trust.

Great communication skills are your ticket to success in the academic and business world. But have you ever been overcome by fear or anxiety prior to going on a job interview or speaking in front of an audience?

Knowing when to choose oral communication and polishing your speaking skills can help you at every stage of your career.

What is Oral communication ?

Oral communication is the process of verbally transmitting information and ideas from one individual or group to another. Oral communication can be either Formal or Informal.

Examples of informal oral communication include:

  • Face-to-face conversations
  • Telephone conversations
  • Discussions that take place at business meetings

More formal types of oral communication include:

  • Presentations at business meetings
  • Classroom lectures
  • Commencement speech given at a graduation ceremony

With advances in technology, new forms of oral communication continue to develop. Video Phones and Video Conferences combine audio and video so that workers in distant locations can both see and speak with each other.

Other modern forms of oral communication include Podcasts (audio clips that you can access on the Internet) and Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP), which allows callers to communicate over the Internet and avoid telephone charges. Skype is an example of VoIP.

Advantages of Oral Communication

  • There is high level of understanding and transparency in oral communication as it is interpersonal. There is no element of rigidity in oral communication.
  • There is flexibility for allowing changes in the decisions previously taken.
  • The feedback is spontaneous in case of oral communication. Thus, decisions can be made quickly without any delay.
  • Oral communication is not only time saving, but it also saves upon money and efforts.
  • Oral communication is best in case of problem resolution. The conflicts, disputes and many issues/differences can be put to an end by talking them over. Oral communication is an essential for teamwork and group energy.
  • Oral communication promotes a receptive and encouraging morale among organizational employees.
  • Oral communication can be best used to transfer private and confidential information/matter.

Disadvantages of Oral Communication

  • Relying only on oral communication may not be sufficient as business communication is formal and very organized.
  • Oral communication is less authentic than written communication as they are informal and not as organized as written communication.
  • Oral communication is time-saving as far as daily interactions are concerned, but in case of meetings, long speeches consume lot of time and are unproductive at times.
  • Oral communications are not easy to maintain and thus they are unsteady.
  • There may be misunderstandings as the information is not complete and may lack essentials. It requires attentiveness and great receptivity on part of the receivers/audience.
  • Oral communication (such as speeches) is not frequently used as legal records except in investigation work.

Types of oral communication

  • Intrapersonal communication is self-talk or a conversation you hold with yourself under certain circumstances – for example, when you need to make an important decision or learn something about yourself. You may wonder whether intrapersonal communication is just another way of describing the thinking process. In a way, that would be correct.
  • Interpersonal communication is communication between several people. This form of communication may range from the impersonal to the very personal. Impersonal communication is when you talk with a person you do not really care about – there is often coldness or indifference in your attitude when you engage in this kind of communication.
  • Small group communication takes place in a group, usually comprising five to 10 people. This form of communication serves relationship needs (like companionship, family bonding and affection or support) as well as task-based needs, for example, deciding on disciplinary action or resolving conflict in the workplace.
  • Public communication, also known as public speaking, involves communication between a speaker and an audience. This audience may range from just a few people to thousands or even millions of people. The aim of the speaker is usually to inform or to persuade the audience to act, buy, or think in a certain way. A teacher may address an assembly of students on codes of behavior or school rules.
  • Mass communication is communication that is sent out from a source to many receivers all over the world. It takes place through media like films, radio, videos and television. Modern avenues of mass communication like the Internet and blogs can be very powerful indeed as information is disseminated instantly.
  • Corporate communication is communication that takes place among members of an organization, within that organization. Interacting in teams, conferencing with co-workers, talking with a supervisor or manager, giving employees explanations and directions, interviewing and making presentations are some examples of corporate communication

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