Advantages And Disadvantages Of Oral Communication: In the world we live today, we can not survive without communication with one another. Hence, Communication is a daily occurrence and it broadly takes two forms: Verbal and Non verbal communication. Non-verbal communication basically means communication through signs, eye contacts, facial expressions, and body movements, while Verbal communication also known as Oral communication is the communication between two or more persons with words of mouth. It may face to face communication or communication over the internet or telephone.
Undoubtedly, Verbal communication hereinafter referred to as Oral communication is common form of communication as it is very important for a good number of reasons. However, while it is very important and advantageous in a good number of ways, it equally has some disadvantages in the same vein. This Article shall explicitly examine these advantages and disadvantages of Oral communication.
Advantages (merits) Of Oral Communication
Oral Communication is very important for the following reasons:
1. It is more effective: Oral communication is the most effective form of communication. Oral communication helps us to properly convey a message as a person will be able to express themselves as they want and share your thoughts in the same manner. Also, with the help of the variations in tone and pitch while speaking, our thoughts will be effectively conveyed to the receiver.
Furthermore, Oral communication is equally effective for illiterate persons, who can neither read nor write, but definitely can hear and understand any message. As through oral communication, these persons in question are able to grasp your message within minutes.
2. Time effective: Oral communication is time effective because it saves the time which we spend trying to get our message across using non-verbal or written form of communication. It is simply very fast in delivering a message across and receiving a feedback on such message.
Generally, Oral communication is traditionally faster, direct and personal. For instance: If I enter a place and tell a friend to bring something for me. Such a friend will grasp my message within seconds and will definitely perform such action, but where for instance I enter same place and start giving verbal signs as to the action I want to be performed, it will take my friend minutes to grasp my message and even more minutes to perform the action; same goes for a written communication. Thus, in entirety, oral communication is the most effective and fastest means of communication.
3. Cost effective: Oral communication is not only effective and fast, but it is also cost effective as it involves little or no cost to communicate with another personal orally. To communicate orally, you don’t need to buy a paper and pen to get your message across or you don’t need to buy data to communicate with someone on social media, all you need to do is to meet the person whom you desire to meet and express your thoughts to such person or persons as the case may be.
Definitely you don’t you don’t have to pay to be able to talk, so in all entirety Oral communication is cost effective.
4. Flexibility: Oral communication is very flexible, as there is no rigid form of oral communication. Oral communication permits you to express yourself in the best possible manner which you can express yourself and likewise you can easily change some of the things which you might have said during oral communication. However, this is not obtainable in other forms of communication.
For instance, if you send a message across to someone you cannot change it because it is now in the control of the sender and also if your communication is physically written it is difficult to change it quickly, unlike what is practicable with oral communication.
5. Persuasive: One great importance of Oral communication is that it is persuasive. This is means that it easier to convince a person or win a person over through oral communication.
Also, it is not only persuasive, but similarly reliable as depending on how persuasive your speech is, people will feel more secure and dependent on your words.
6. Prompts Confidentiality: Oral communication is very important because it breeds secrecy and confidentiality. When you open up to a person in private, the conversation usually stays between you and the person, except the person decides otherwise to leak it, but even if the person does there is usually no evidence to support it.
Unlike in other forms of communication wherein there are often evidence to back up what a person has said and this makes achieving confidentiality of every information difficult.
7. Fosters cooperation: Oral communication fosters cooperation as it creates a friendly environment with others, creates common understanding in a work environment, motivates workers, lifts up team spirit, ensures coordination of workers in handling their activities and is generally essential for an effective team work.
Disadvantages (demerits) Of Oral Communication
While Oral communication is very important as highlighted above, it is equally detrimental in the following ways:
1. It is informal: Oral communication is broadly classified as an informal form of communication. This means that it addresses a person in a casual and unofficial manner.
So therefore, it is not an effective form of communication especially in a business environment which generally requires formality.
2. No record: The fact that Oral communication is informal makes it difficult for us to keep record of conversation and this is very bad as where there is no record there is no evidence and when there is no evidence, your rights may be waived off. For example, if I meet a person and tell him to clear grass for me in return of 5,000 naira and at the end of the day the person clears the grass, I may decide to waive his right to reward and not pay him because there was no documentation of such agreement whatsoever, therefore in the eyes of law such agreement is deemed never to have existed.
However, in the instance wherein our agreement was documented and signed by both parties before he commenced the work, I cannot waive his right and even if I do he may sue me to court and will successfully recover the sum due.
Thus, one major disadvantage of oral communication is that the communication is usually not on record.
3. Lack of Accountability: As established from the above point Oral communication has no record and legal validity, it therefore flows that there is also a lack of accountability because a speaker cannot be merely held accountable for his words.
4. Limited use: One detriment of Oral Communication is that it has a limited usuage. As a matter of fact, Oral communication is not useful when communicating with somebody in a long distance and as such cannot be used for long distance, it is also not suitable for passing a lengthy, and finally Its informal nature means that it has a very limited use in business communication in an organization.
5. More Prone to error: Oral communication is often prone to error in representation of facts or presentation of details. However, the chances of making an error in written communication are slimmer as it is well researched and edited too.
Additionally, Oral communication is prone to error because it requires attentiveness on the part of the receiver and where there is a slight skip of mind; the receiver may encode the wrong information and may even act upon such wrong message.
6. It is forgettable: It is rightly said that the faintest pencil is better than the sharpest memory. Hence, one disadvantage of an oral communication is that can be easily forgotten as the memory has some limit to what it can remember unlike a paper and pen which can always remember all things.
To illustrate this, take for instance wherein your mother sends you to market and orally tells you a list of things to buy at the market, when you reach the market it happens that you will forget at least 1-2 items off the market list, especially if its your first time in the market. However, where this market list is written down, you cannot forget it as you will always be making reference to it and ticking off the items which you have purchased.
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