Oral communication or Verbal Communication is a way to express your ideas and knowledge verbally without writing them. It is of equal importance in business as well as in an academic career, and is the key to success. People having good speaking skills are the best option to convey messages. Some people lack verbal communication skills, and thus are phobic to speak in front of public. Oral communication can be classified into two types: formal and informal.
Formal communication includes
- Face to face talks
- Telephonic communication
While informal communication includes
- Speech delivered at ceremonies
In modern times this communication gets the form of video calls and conference calls. People living at a distance, communicate with each other through video calls and often meetings are held. The internet is the best source of modern video communication, and Skype is a great example of modern video calling.
Advantages of Oral Communication
There come many situations where oral communication or verbal communication is better than written one as it is a less formal type of communication. When time gets shorter and the business requires quick decision, then this oral communication is the best choice to use. Quick decisions can be made by having an urgent meeting, i.e. face to face conversation or on a telephone call. Written communication is time taking and delay the decision making process, while oral communication helps in making quick decisions. Also in written communication, there is less margin of explaining any problem in detail; where as in Oral communication is effective in clearing misunderstandings which can’t be cleared in written messages.
Disadvantages of Oral Communication
Besides, having so many advantages of oral communication, there are some disadvantages too. Some business meetings require documentation which can’t be done in oral communication. Some events of business require written records, which can’t be obtained even by having strong verbal communication skills. Written communication is often precise and to the point while oral one is time consuming and prone to misunderstandings.
How to Improve Oral Communication Skills
Following are some tips that will be helpful in polishing one’s verbal communication skills.
- Reading the newspaper, books and novels will improve vocabulary and will help to reduce one’s weaknesses in speaking.
- Research more before any presentation and works hard on the selection of your words, and always try to use easy words. Too difficult words will make the audience get bored and can also make the audience feel inferior in terms of vocabulary.
- Be friendly to the audience you are going to communicate. This will reduce your anxiety level before getting into the speech or presentation.
- When you think that the audience is ready to listen you only start then.
- Before going to a presentation. Take time and make you well prepared. You never know what type of questions you will be asked about during your presentation, so prepare yourself for all types of questions including relevant ones and also the awkward ones.
- Try to talk less and listen more. By doing so the audience will take interest in communicating with you. By listening more means you are building a trust with your audience and making them sure that you understand their feelings. In this way your audience will share more information with you, and the rapport you are trying to build with your audience will progress well.
- Besides working on verbal Communication skills, try to keep attention on your non verbal skills too. The words you are speaking should be in accordance with your body language, facial expressions and gestures.
- Don’t make promises with your audience if you can’t fulfill them. This will break the trust and will affect your communication as well as the rapport of your organization.
- While having presentations make connections with the last presentation, and this can be done by simply questioning on past presentations
- Think many times before speaking. It is not necessary that what you can understand. It should also be understandable to your audience too.
- You can learn verbal communication techniques by taking help from your seniors. There are lots of coaching centers too that assist in improving verbal skills.
Why Oral Communication is Necessary
Oral business communication is necessary in a variety of ways.
- The employees need to communicate effectively on the behalf of the organization
- To listen attentively and pass on information accurately
- It is important to give instructions perfectly
- Taking part in official debates and contributing to business meeting is the basic step to success
An Australian research has proposed the following elements of effective oral communication.
- To listen attentively
- To speak very clearly in easy words
- Using numerical effectively
- Writing in the favor of the needs of the receiver
- Discussing with responsibility
- Being confident in what he is saying
- Capable of sharing information effectively
Quality of Oral Communication
The quality refers to the fact that how effective will be the communication in achieving goals. The quality of communication can be checked by considering the content and the medium through which it is conveyed. The main determinant in oral communication is the selection and use of words. This includes the structure of sentence, grammar and vocabulary. It is fact that you can’t speak well if you do not know the purpose of communication. Going unprepared for speech will not build good communication between the speaker and the audience. During the meetings pictorial presentation can be helpful in clearing the most difficult messages to the audience. Quality of verbal communication is also assessed by body language, eye contact and the voice tone. These factors put more impact on the audience than the words. Another quality determinant is the medium selected by the sender, Emails, telephone calls are some of them, and the art of using them effectively is no doubt the key to success.