Q. Explain the advantages of oral communication with the help of suitable example.
Advantages of Oral Communication:
Oral communication may be defined as a process whereby a speaker interacts verbally with one or more listeners, in order to influence the latter’s behavior in some way or the other.
Example: In a business context, a manager is doing a performance appraisal with an employee, or a sales manager making a sales plan presentation to his sales team. In the first example, the manager may point out areas for improvement and in the second case, the sales manager may be explaining how to achieve new sales targets.
Oral communication in a business context can take the form of meetings, presentations, one-to-one meetings, performance reviews and so on.
Oral communication has some advantages compared to written communication. These include its personal quality, high interactivity, possibility of making immediate contact, instantaneous feedback and control over the receiver’s attention.
Oral communication was also classified into oral face-to-face communication (meetings and presentations) and oral non face-to-face communication (teleconferencing, telephone and voice mail). While face-to-face meetings are more effective than non face-to-face communication in most ways, they are expensive and impractical sometimes, due to the distance factor. Thanks to advances in technology, meetings today can still take place without being face-to-face, through teleconferencing. Teleconferencing allows participants at distant locations to speak and sometimes to see each other. Apart from the high cost and the difficulty in setting it up, teleconferencing has the same advantages as oral face-to-face communication.
Example: Several retailers like Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, make use of teleconferencing to keep their US headquarters in touch with their store managers worldwide. Some headhunters also make use of the facility to conduct preliminary interviews and shortlist candidates based in other countries, before inviting them for a face-to-face interview.
Many multi-national corporations and large Indian organizations also use this facility extensively.
In spite of its advantages, teleconferencing will not replace face-to-face meetings completely, since it is unsuitable for certain types of communication that involve brainstorming, negotiations, persuasion and problem solving.
Telephone communication, another form of non face-to-face communication, has the biggest advantage of being able to contact a receiver who would be impossible to reach in person. Today, mobile phones have made it even easier to contact people who are on the move. Telephone communication also has a personal quality and permits the use of some non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, to enhance the communication.
Voice mail is a type of telephone communication and is similar to an answering machine. Although it is generally inferior to speaking in person to the other party, it has some advantages. When you leave a recorded message, you can make your point felt and save time that might be wasted in exchanging pleasantries. Invitations can also be declined without having to give an explanation or reason, or having the other person talk back. Thus, there is greater control over how the message is composed and delivered. Besides, voice mail also makes it possible to keep a permanent record of the communication, unlike other types of oral communication. In spite of these advantages however, voice mail has not caught on in India.