Oral communication: Meaning , Principles of
successful oral communication
Barriers to communication
Conversation control Reflection and Empathy:
two sides of effective oral communication.
Modes of Oral Communication
Oral communication is also known as verbal
communication, is the interchange of verbal
messages between sender and receiver. It is
more immediate than written communication. It
more natural and informal in nature.
“ The man who can think and does not
know how to express what he thinks, is
at the same level who as the person
cannot think ”
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CHARACTERISTICS / FEATURES OF ORAL
Two way process : oral communication is speedy two
way process. The messages in oral communication
travel forth and back without any loss of time, making it
One off exercise :oral communication is one off
exercise as it is not repeated and there is know written
record to which any references can be made.
Day to day language : the use of common
convectional, day to day conversational language is
considered to be the most effective in oral
Presence of sender and receiver : the presence of
both sender and receiver is required at the same time,
for oral communication to take place.
Principles : accuracy, clarity and brevity are
the three principles of oral communication,
which can be achieved by usage of right
language during communication.
Effect of body language and modulation :
high or low pitch voice or gestures made during
the speech, greatly influence the quality of oral
It cannot be erased or mended : spoken
words once communicated cannot be altered or
manipulated, clarity of though is important to
be considered during oral communication.
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Assume nothing Polite words
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE ORAL
Consider the objective : speaker should have clear
understanding about main intention of talk and what it
is directed towards.
Think about the interest level of receiver :
communicator should understand requirement of
target audience their intention behind attending the
session which helps the speaker to effectively
prepare communication content.
Be sincere : communicator should be sincere in
terms of content preparation in case of cross
questioning where speaker should be able to clarify
Use polite words and tone : speaker should make
use of words which are persuading in nature and
which draw audience attention towards talk of
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Use simple language, familiar words :
speaker should avoid usage of jargons,
prepositions and terminologies specific to area
of knowledge when not related to the talk.
Be brief and precise : speaker should be brief
in terms of elaborating the concept, he should
talk to the point and avoid wastage of time.
Avoid vagueness and generalities :
communicator should be particular in terms of
goal towards which content is directed. Concept
than being generalized should be related
towards interest area of audience.
Assume nothing : speaker should not give
conclusion based on individual assumption but
his data should be supported by proved facts.
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ADVANTAGES / BENEFITS/ MERITS OF ORAL
Immediate feedback : oral communication
provides advantage of immediate feedback as
both the parties can clarify their doubts during the
process of conversation.
Better relationship : oral communication builds a
healthy climate in the organization by bringing the
superior and the subordinate together and help in
building close informal relation among the
Time saving : oral communication is time saving
as it reduces paper work and ensures quick
delivery of message to receiver of message.
Effective tool of persuasion : oral
communication is effective tool of persuasion
as it lends a personal touch to whole business.
Oral communication plays important role in
resolving conflicts at workplace.
Effective tool for group communication :
oral communication is very effective in
interacting with groups. The speaker can
immediately understand the groups reaction
and arrive at satisfactory conclusion by
expressing his view and taking feedback from
Economical : oral communication is
economical in nature both in terms of money
and time. It saves money by avoiding paper
usage and save time by immediate
communication of message.
Allows to measure effectiveness
immediately : oral communication allows
measuring effectiveness immediately and
conveniently. The communicator can determine
whether the receiver is following him or not.
DISADVANTAGES / DEMERITS OF ORAL
Lack of documentation : there is documentary of
oral communication, so its impact is temporary in
Distortion in passing the message : while oral
communication are transmitted from one person to
another, or in chain, there is possibility of distortion
of message, as the hearing capability and
perception level of different individuals vary.
No legal validity : in the absence of a taped or
written record, oral message do not have any legal
Possibility of misunderstanding : oral
communication may lead to misunderstanding
due to lack of proper usage of words,
Unsuitable for long messages : effectiveness
of oral communication depends on length of
message to be communicated as listener may
not have patience to concentrate on message
for duration of more than an hour.
Difficulty in assigning responsibility : it is
difficult to assign responsibility for mistakes
made during the conversation as it depends on
perception of sender and receiver of message.
It is constrained by physical barriers :
physical barriers like noise, environment,
technical problems negatively affect the flow of
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PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE ORAL
Brevity : a message to be delivered should be
brief. Time factors is important in oral
communication as time of speaker as well as
listener time should be effectively utilized.
Clarity : in content delivery on the part of speaker
is very important for providing clear picture of talk.
Clarity can be achieved with simple words and
Choosing precise words : using the precise
words means speaking in exact details using the
right words at right place to context which will
convey the meaning intended by the speaker.
Clichés : means a phrase which is used often
and has no meaning. An effective
communicator avoids clichés during
communication. E.g. fine, ok, oh etc.
Sequences : speaker should not skip points or
change sequence of consistency, continuity
and logical development of the subject matter
should be there in the content of speech.
Avoid jargon : speaker should avoid irrelevant
jargon during the talk. Jargon refers to usage of
word relating to domain. Terminology relating to
science, technology etc.
Prepositions : unnecessary prepositions should
be avoided to make content of talk simple. E.g. He
will be on leave today for certain period of time. He
will be on leave today up to 6 o’clock.
Adjectives and adverbs : should be used where
necessary. They emphasize the meaning with
degree of importance. E.g. Active consideration,
positive decision will be taken, comparatively.
Fluency : means ease as condition of speaking.
Fluent speaker is one who is heard with ease.
Listener does not have to strain his mind to
receive, register and interpret message heard.
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BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE ORAL
Status : in organization refers to formal and
informal relation among employees in company. A
lower level employee may hesitate to express his
hassles in front of his superior in organization.
Halo effect : audience interest in speaker
depends the trust worthiness of audience on
speaker. If the speaker is greatly trusted and held
in high esteem as an honest person, his statement
are readily taken as true.
Complexes : lack of confidence or sense of
superiority may prevent proper oral interaction
between persons differently positioned. Individuals
due to inferiority complex may hesitate to express
Closed and all knowing mind : some persons
believe that they know everything in field or
subject. Due to this attitude of audience they may
not concentrate on content of speaker irrespective
of whether its effective or not.
Poor retention :to deliver effective speech the
speaker should be organized in terms of sequence
and methodology to be adopted. If the speaker is
not clear about the same it leads to vagueness in
minds of audience.
Premature evaluation and hurried conclusions
: audience are required to do patience listening for
understanding speakers content. Incomplete
attention and pre judgement of audience does not
provide clarity to audience in terms of talk
delivered to them.
Abstracting : when audience focus on few
content of the talk in which they are interested they
tend to get superficial picture of the whole session
due to which their conclusion may not be accurate.
Slant : is usually attributed to the biased
presentation of matter of speaker. Instead of
straight talk, one speaks on an oblique manner
that could be almost like telling lie.
Cognitive dissonance : the listener fails to accept
or respond to assumptions underlying the new
information communicated as he or she is
unprepared to change.
Language barriers : basically refers to
communication problem occurred as listener is not
able to follow the language used by communicator
Conversational control : art of conversation
consists in our ability to listen with
concentration and reply well. Conversational
control involves skills of listening and taking in
a positive and meaningful way at an
appropriate time. It comprises of :
Techniques of changing the direction of
Ability to allow discussion to develop along key
issues in an uninterrupted way towards the
SKILLS REQUIRED FOR CONVERSATIONAL
Interacting with people in meetings in
Handling objections to a proposal made by
Being able to react to positive criticisms in
Developing skills in interviewing.
Learning how to get correct information
TECHNIQUES FOR CONVERSATION
Recognizing cues and clues : cues is what
speaker gives to listener to understand gist of
talk, clues refers to hints what listener gives to
speaker in form of doubts about speakers talk.
Interpreting signs and signals : visual
indicators refers to body language exhibited
both by speaker and listener such as
movements of hands, legs, head provides hind
about comfort level of speaker and
understanding of content on part of listener.
Parallel conversation : it basically refers to when two
or more persons have one on one conversations with
each other where listener seeks for further information
Sequential conversation : statements used by
speaker during speech should be in sequential order
where there should be interlink or relationship between
the various statement of content.
Reflection and empathy : reflection basically refers to
identify and reacting to key words in speakers
statement. E.g. Mr A to Mr B Do I have to attend
meeting. B should understand that A is trying to
understand his importance in meeting. Empathy
basically refers to understanding feeling or
requirement of other person and act accordingly.
Sense of time as skill : the speaker should
always keep in mind the time taken to
communicate. The time limits announced in
formal oral activities should be strictly
Summary : speaker should summarize the
content of talk to provide brief gist of talk at the
end and ask for listener feedback.
APPLICATION OF CONVERSATIONAL CONTROL
Advance circulation of agenda papers : to
enable the members of the meeting understand
the issues and prepare them to present their
Chair person : a meeting is chaired by person
whose role is to direct and conduct the
proceedings in an orderly manner. During the
meeting the ruling of the chair is to be taken as
final words to be followed and respected by all
the meeting members.
The procedure : chairperson should have
control during meeting focusing on important
issues and creating conditions for sequential,
linked and meaningful discussions for solutions.
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To be assertive without being aggressive :
skills of avoiding parallel conversation,
ensuring linkage in every members talk, and
being assertive about ones objective without
being rude or hurting others is basic for
smooth conducting of business in meeting.
Conversational attack and controlled
response : the verbal exercise of give and
take to reach a winning end is skill fully
managed by conversational control.
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TWO SIDES OF EFFECTIVE ORAL
Listening : is important component of
conversation control. For listener to appreciate
speaker, he should be allowed to give his
feedback and speaker should be patience in terms
of criticism from listener end.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD LISTENER
Do not interrupt
Make eye contact
Concentrate ask open questions
Be effective presenter : oral communication is
speakers ability to present his view point. In
order to be effective presenter speaker should
try to present facts, not personal opinion,
content should be directed according to interest
level of listener.
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Methods of oral communication
face to face
Face to face communication : refers to
when individual is communicating to another
person with intention of creating
understanding in mind of person.
Interview : is meeting where one person or
panel of persons put forward questions to
another person. These are formal
conversation conducted in organization with
objective to select suitable person for job.
Telephone conversation : refers to
conversation between two or more persons
through network communication.
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Grapevine : discussion among employees in an
informal manner, on various aspects and
matters concerning the organization and its
Negotiations : refers to settle down issue by
creating mutual understanding between
Meetings : is a formal gathering to resolve and
discuss various issues or development aspects
to be implemented in company.
Lecture / speech : is a formal conversation, in
which one person usually speaks and others
listen as part of audience.
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Presentation : has face to face setting, in
which speaker delivers lecture on pre
planned topic to audience interested in
Conference/ seminar/ workshops : a group
deliberation on various topics, issues are
held in conference, seminars and workshop.
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